its funny… for the past few weeks/months… it feels like every time i hear a speaker at large group or a message at service, i want to post it on xanga or facebook… except by the time i get back to my room or remember about posting, the desire kinda just leaves me…

but moving along… this is what i’ve learned from the past two large groups

4/27- john sleeba on the parable of the workers in the vineyard (matthew 20: 1-16)

so when he first read us the parable, i was like… interesting, why would Jesus tell us this? cuz it doesn’t seem very fair…I kinda sided with the grumbling workers who worked the entire day to get the same pay as those who worked for a little while…and then matthew 20:16 made no sense to me– i couldn’t understand what it had to do with the story… yeah. i was confused 🙂
and i started off listening skeptically…seeing as it didn’t make sense..what would i learn from it? its not like i’m stupid, right, and missed the obvious point of the story? =P
well whaddya know…

in a few minutes, the speaker explained pretty much every confusing part of the story, proving how stupid and ignorant i was =)
1. far from being “not very fair”..God is PERFECTLY just. The rich guy (metaphor for God) who gave everyone (metaphor for us little people) the same pay wasn’t being unfair to anyone at all. It’s not like he backed down from his word and gave less than what he agreed upon… he said he’d give the morning workers $___ and he DID give them that. So whatever God agrees to do, He’ll do it. He doesn’t back down from His word. He is perfectly fair and just.
2. so what of those who worked less and received the same? well, ever heard that God is generous? cuz He is… He (like the rich guy) gives even when we sinners do NOT deserve it, and we won’t ever deserve anything no matter how much good we do in our lives. it’s called “grace”…comes with the whole getting into heaven thing, how God is perfectly good and hates all evil (including sin of any kind)
3. so verses 15 and 16 were kinda like “are you jealous cuz i’m generous? cuz i’m good?” well..are you? are you upset that God’s kind to all people? do you really want to say “yeah God, i’m jealous of your generosity”? here’s the thing… God sees everyone equally – there IS no first and last… first = last and last = first, not as a “switch roles” thing but as a “mix it up” thing…if that makes any sense haha… besides, we’re all sinners, which puts us all as equally yeah.

see all i had learned? but that wasn’t even the end…there were VERY applicable applications after that…
besides the usual “salvation and entry into heaven can only be gotten through faith, not by anything we do”…

1- don’t think you’re better than anyone else. really. you’re not. we’re all equally sinful, remember? which means….
–> change the way we talk about others (putting them down, gossiping, etc.) .. yeah everyone talks about this, but nobody DOES anything. cuz how do you stop gossiping? i have no clue…  the thing is, when we gossip, we kinda talk bad about others, meaning we think we’re better than them (in that aspect at least)..and i do it too…… i guess the only thing i can do is pray about it?? =)
also, my sarcasm has gotten kinda bad lately…but i was supposed to talk about how i’ve changed in a diff post… =P
–> change the way we act around others… i guess…don’t act snotty? i actually don’t remember exactly what he talked about here =
–> change the way we THINK about/around others — HARDEST ONE — well cuz we can act all nice and speak kind words, but in our heads we’re just all like “what a hypocrite” or “what in the world do they think they’re doing” or “i would never have done that”… stuff like that…and its just saying..we’re not better than the ppl we’re thinking these thoughts about…so stop.

2- stop complaining and being jealous about what others have…
God has given us what we need, all we need, more than what we need. and He will faithfully continue to provide for us, so we need not worry..and what others have is really none of our business… whether we have more or less than others doesn’t matter…truthfully — we deserve NOTHING. so if u look at it that way, the fact that we have so much MORE than we deserve is reason enough to be joyful and thankful. don’t be greedy. =P

5/4 (fara choi) — about humility, being humble
another day, perhaps? this is already too long =(

SPUUUUUURS 1-0 vs suns!!!! =DDD parker’s head collided w/ nash’s nose so nash had to sit out with a bloody nose…
last small group outing in 7 hrs (10am), senior farewell in about 17 hrs (8pm) =)
exams on 5/10 (thurs), 5/12 (sat), 5/14 (mon), 5/15 (tues) — leaving on tues. sigh. official end of fishie year…


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