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Showing posts from March, 2021

A Response to “Our Souls Cry Out” by Lukeythia Bastardi

Dear Tiffanie, One thing I want you (and others reading) to be sure to understand, and to hear as you read this, is that "you" also equals "yours," as in the entire AAPI Diaspora. One, among many wonderful shared cultural mores between Black and Asian people, is that we are a collective people. We use singular and plural personal pronouns interchangeably. That is how it ought to be as followers of Jesus, together adopted into his family, together sharing in his inheritance, and together breaking bread. You bring the chop sticks, I'll bring the hot sauce. My soul is (again) groaning, all the while knowing, That a change is gonna come. It will be missed by some. That "already to the not yet" time will be done. (That simple promise has kept my people from coming undone.) Our Lord Jesus will see to it, That your enemies (who because they are yours are also my enemies) Will get what He sees fit. Sister Chan, please know that y

Mark 14:3-9 Don’t Miss The Point

     Throughout high school and college, I had the opportunity to serve on four mission trips to Nicaragua. It was on these trips that I was exposed to a kind of poverty and neglect that I had never witnessed before. I learned a lot about the corruption that exists within the Nicaraguan government and America’s role in their history and where they are today. However, where I thought I would find despair and hopelessness, I found life, abundant life. During one of these trips at the end of college, one of our leaders (who is now my wife, shoutout Abbey) gave a talk about what she called “the secret of the poor.” Essentially, she was teaching us about how while the people we interacted with were very poor, they had such great joy compared to us in America because they recognized the wealth and inheritance they have in Jesus Christ. Perhaps that is the reality we see played out in this story about the anointing of Jesus by this woman in Bethany.       Mark’s account of this story does not

Cleansing the Temple, Matthew 21:12-17

  The second Law of Thermodynamics states that an isolated system left to itself will naturally increase in disorder unless acted upon by an outside force. Basically, left to itself, the world around us tends to increase in chaos naturally. I think that is probably a lesson we have all seen play out in real time over this past year. My friends Hezekiah and Jervon have a saying they like to use when they hear about some event or behavior that stirs up disappointment regarding the direction the world seems to be heading in. It goes like this: Everyday we stray further and further from the light of God, and it’s disgusting. I am not sure that is exactly what Jesus said during this demonstration, but I don’t think it is terribly far off from the reality.  This natural drift toward disorder is pretty much what we see happening to the religious life of the Jews in this passage. Over the course of time, the religious leaders of Israel allowed the sacrificial system (which was designed to poin

Palm Sunday - The Triumphal Entry Luke 19:28-40

  A friend once gave me some dating advice back in college that essentially went like this, “Isaiah, relationships are like fish, if you hold the fish too tightly after you catch it out of the water, it will probably slide out of your hands, but if you don’t hold it tightly enough, it will flop away. You gotta learn how to hold things appropriately.” Now obviously the Triumphal Entry in the Gospels isn’t about dating, it’s about Jesus. More so, it is about recognizing Jesus as King, but I do also think there is something for us to learn about our resources in this snapshot of Jesus’ life. While my friend was talking about how to hold relationships well, I think his advice is also relevant for how we view our resources in light of the coming of Jesus as King.      Every time I read this story, I cannot help but think about the people who owned the colt that Jesus rode in on. Did they already know who Jesus was? How did Jesus know they would give it up? One commentator says that the fact

"Our Souls Cry Out" by Tiffanie Chan

It is difficult to speak for the Asian American community. Our experience is so vast and varied—some of us have been here for generations, with grandparents forcibly removed to internment camps during World War II, some of us are those whose ancestors came to build the Transcontinental Railroad. The timeline of when we came directly correlates with racist immigration policies that allowed or denied us entry. For others, our families came because of war and conflict (often involving American military intervention). Some came as transracial adoptees, which makes our stories all the more complex. Others came for higher education and a chance at opportunity. We’ve grown up behind the counters at restaurants, markets, and dry cleaners, in suburbia as token minorities, in dense city centers of immigrant communities, and everywhere in between. But what we do share in America is the sense that we are unseen and we don’t belong. If we were born here, we don’t belong in our countries of origin

Bread from Heaven throughout the Bible -- Redeeming the Wilderness

  Exodus gives us the pattern of redemption, showing movement from sin and sorrow to freedom and life.  Here we learn the story of how God rescued His people from slavery in Eygpt.  They were beaten and treated badly.  In chapter 1, we’re told that the Egyptians “set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens...they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves and made their lives bitter with hard service” (v. 11, 13-14).  At the end of chapter 2 we read that the people of Israel “groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help.  Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.  And God heard their groaning...God saw the people of Israel -- and God knew” (v.23-24).  God knew.  He knew their suffering.  And He came to their rescue!  Through plagues and miracles, God “led [His] people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron” through the Red Sea and out into the wilderness (Psalm 77:19-20)! Crossing the Red sea marks a transition for God’s people.  God ge

Questions for the Holy One

  I recently read a quote that resonated greatly with my journey over the past year or so. “Doubt doesn’t alienate you from the divine, it often means you’re approaching it.”       My time with the Lord over the past few months have been rich and fruitful and for that I am thankful. I’ve craved curling up on the couch with my Bible, blanket, and coffee digging deep in scripture in the early hours of the morning while the rest of my house is still asleep. But if I’m going to be honest it didn’t start that way because all was right in my world lately (and honestly, the whole world for that matter). My heart and mind have been wrestling with unanswered questions during this season stemming from many different forms of brokenness in my personal life & in the world as a whole. My uncertainty isn’t doubting that I believe God is good, mighty, and loves justice. My questions have been more about who He is and how His proclamation of victory over evil, justice for the oppressed, and sovere