Devotional: Isaiah 1

Reflections and Questions from Isaiah 1:

  1. Rebellion comes from a lack of understanding who your Owner is – doulos (vv. 2-3)
    • Who is the Lord of my life?
  2. Our God is a reasonable God; He gives us the opportunity to come through grace and make us clean once again. (vv. 16-19)
    • Have I taken the opportunity?
  3. Israel was once faithful, but its faith became tainted and watered down. (vv. 21-22)
    • Is my faith watered down, or is a consistent flame for him?
  4. God is gracious to restore, despite the fact that we sin again and again and again. He will restore again and again and again. (vv. 25-26)
    • How do I see His faithfulness in my life?

Isaiah 1

 

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“Singing Christmas: What Child Is This?” at Harvest Bible Chapel (Elgin Campus)

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Yesterday, Witness and I attended the 11 am service at Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC). It was the first of the HBC Advent services. The worship team added about seven drummer boys from Harvest Christian Academy (the church’s school), so the steady beat of the drums made me excited to usher in the spirit of Christ’s birth. I was happy to see generations of faith playing on stage together. It was relevant and cool, not just the separate children’s choir or orchestra that performs at every special church occasion.  I was so inspired by the worship. From traveling and visiting many different churches, it was such a blessing to see old songs become fresh and new. Meredith Andrews sang “Not For a Moment” with lyrics focused on Christmas. Instead of the normal lyrics of repentance and human emotions, we were suddenly transported to the backdrop of Middle Eastern shepherds, flocks, and angels singing over the birth of Christ. Whoever changed the lyrics did an absolutely brilliant job. It was effortless and truly amazing! I didn’t realize that such a simple change could make such a huge and refreshing impact. Loved it.

This particular service was the intro to the “Singing Christmas” series. James Macdonald hit it spot on with his first sermon. He first warned us to caution, stating that he’d be preaching off of Christmas carols… and before the naysayers could moan about the “Biblelessness” of certain churches, he assured us that the songs he’d be focusing on would be biblical and truth. As I’ve stated before in my Step 1 post, I like that Macdonald lectures as if he’s a classroom teacher, probably because that’s how I teach too. He’ll use relevant topics, like Christmas carols, Elf on the Shelf, video testimonies, and even his own grandson to illustrate the majesty of Christ coming to earth. He concluded with the conclusion of all conclusions, the worship and adoration of our Gracious and Majestic King. It was a Christmas message within the relevance of the 21st century, and one that I won’t easily forget. “What Child Is This?” by William Chatterton Dix will continually be a Gospel reminder for Christian families and holiday shoppers to come.

When the service ended, Witness and I checked out the Harvest Christian Academy (HCA) corner where we were able to meet Marc Abbatacola, the executive director of HCA. He was so very kind, friendly, and down to earth. I’m hoping to get connected to the right people so that I can join the sub list.

That was our fourth Sunday at Harvest Bible Chapel… and I think it’s beginning to grow on me. Once we join small groups come January, I think we’ll be able to tell whether or not we’re going to fully commit to growing with this awesome church. Thanks for joining us onpagetwo! Let us know what you thought of the post!

With Love,

Tabitha

 

Step 1 at Harvest Bible Chapel (Elgin Campus)

  
Hello there,

Yesterday, Witness and I attended the 9:00 am service at Harvest Bible Chapel in Elgin. Well, we were technically late, so it was more like the 9:20 service (since Cashew was taking his sweet, sweet time). The sermon was a little hard to follow, probably because we hadn’t been attending for the whole series.

It was the last of Macdonald’s series and a decent one too. He focused on forgiveness, and how God’s sacrifice through His Son Jesus covers our past, present, and future sin. It was nice how Macdonald showed his humanity in sharing about how he too sins and allows his past regrets to fester at times. But ultimately, since the Father has already let it go, we also should repent again, and let it go too. We’ve been forgiven and will continue to be forgiven; it’s been resolved. God’s got it. How great that we’re covered by the blood of the Lamb!

I feel that James Macdonald’s style is kind of like a lecture. He doesn’t really tell stories like John Piper or create contextual pictures like John MacArthur for the congregation. His style is more like, here’s truth, then some more truth, and if you’re feeling it, here it is again. It’s good for those who are stubborn and hard-hearted like myself.

After the service, we went to STEP 1, which is the introduction to becoming a Harvest Bible Chapel member. It was hosted in a small room on the left side of the sanctuary filled with curious newcomers and men with green lanyards on. We grabbed some coffee, filled out a card, and received more information about Harvest Bible Chapel. Overall, a pretty smooth process. Initially, I had thought that we’d be able to meet the pastors, but I think we might’ve gone a little later than expected. We’re thinking of joining small groups soon. I’ll post on that once we get started.

As always, thanks for reading, and thank you for joining us onpagetwo!

With Love,

Tabitha

 

 

5 Signs that You’re a Grown Up Growing Up

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Hello there,

My name is Tabitha. I’m a twenty-five year old Korean-American girl who wants to accomplish a lot of things. I’m also a perfectionist – driven by fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of not being my best, and fear of uselessness. To say the least, it’s a crippling foundation to live by. 

It’s a constant trend of steady self-conversation, “I need to know more. You need to know more, Tab. Be curious.” And it drives me nuts! It’s almost to the point where I’d have to pick up three more degrees to fully be “qualified” to do the things I want. So many things to do, and so little time on this earth. Where to start first?

Here are some things that I’ve noticed about others who live thriving and inspiring lives. And rather than being a “grown up,” I’m focusing more on those who’ve been owning the process of growing “up”:

  1. You Reflect:
    • Think: The smartest and most inspiring people think. You’d assume that’s obvious, but unfortunately, not many embark on the journey of this natural and easily accessible task. Think about what you want to accomplish for the day. Think about what you want for the month. Think about where you want to be in five years. Think about the problems in the world. Think about how you can be a solution to that problem. It’s bound to make you a more compassionate and well-rounded human being.
    • Write: Anything. Anytime. Anywhere. Write about the things you just thought about. Carrying around a journal or typing  it into EverNote or Notes on your Apple iPhone can be the best way to get back to those brilliant musings you had over coffee. Maybe you’re a poet, and you don’t yet know it – until you start writing.
    • Meditate/Pray: Spiritual, religious, or non-religious, doesn’t matter. Everyone worships or loves something. Think about something positive. Send your family thoughts and good vibes. Meditation and prayer can lead you to a place of gratefulness, a place where true joy can consistently take root and thrive.
  2. You’re a Life-Long Learner:
    • Reading the News: Know what’s going on in the world around you. Download BBC or CNN onto your phone or tablet. Check out New York Times. Subscribe to some magazines. Don’t let your only source of news be Facebook or Twitter. Do some real research, albeit biased; however, if you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you’ll be able to tell right from wrong.
    • Read in General: TV, movie, and Netflix-binges of the latest “Jessica Jones” or “Master of None” can be entertaining at times, but don’t let the tube suck your soul dry. Read texts that have been around for centuries. Read biographies, fiction, nonfiction, and mystery thrillers. The library is your oyster of information and knowledge! Get a library card, or turn to the dark side and invest in an e-reader. Either way, reading is an investment in you, and Lord knows, you’re worth it.
  3. You Listen and then Share:
    • Listen: My mother always told me I had two ears to listen and one mouth to share. (Probably because I’d say ridiculous things most of the time). Use mother’s ratio well. Oftentimes, people have a plethora of information and incredible anecdotes that’ll help you through life’s struggles. And sometimes, people just need someone to listen. If you can be that bearer of burdens, please consider doing it. It’s rewarding to walk together in community towards growing up. You might even end up saving someone’s emotional, mental, or physical life.
    • Share: Don’t be greedy. There’s enough love to go around. Share the wealth of knowledge, resources, and most importantly, time with those who care about. Also, be very careful about what tone you use. Everyone is different, so sharing bluntly with one man is not going to work the same with a five-year-old girl. Research also shows that once you can teach it to someone else, you’ve truly gotten it for yourself. So go, share, and teach!
  4. You Know When to Relax
    • Rest: God created 7 days in a week. We have weekends for a reason. Take some time off for church/communities, yourself, and your loved ones. You can’t be a whole person unless you allow for fill ups along the way. Life can be defeating, and when you’ve run dry, make sure to take time to breathe. If you happen to work on weekends, make sure to build in time to rest. You’re not a machine.
  5. You Repeat the Process
    • Repeat the process of reflection, learning, conversing and sharing with others, and relaxing.

I hope that the observations and steps were simple and easy to follow. Thanks for joining me onpagetwo.

With Love,

Tabitha