Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Moments :)

Christmas is about capturing & appreciating "moments".

This Christmas I got to head up to snow country with a family friend (The Ainslie's, they are special to me beyond words can express & we had so much fun!),

got to have Hometown Buffet with my mum (her favorite spot to eat in the world, not sure why? but we ended up talking for 3 hours in there!),

got to watch "Amazing Grace" with my papa (even though he fell asleep within the first 15 minutes =P, what an incredible and inspiring movie though, it gave me passion to keep on keeping on living and fighting for justice. I love autobiographies of heroes.),

spent a whole day and a half with my sister Joyce in Davis (where she diagnosed my health as near complete break down :P, put me on a vitamin plan, showed me how to cook and eat healthy, got me into a portable sauna to reset my hypothalumus time clock, taught me how to breath in and out to relax my mind, while giving me the greatest full body massage I've ever had in my entire life, I love you Joyce!),

I also met a random stranger on a Southwest flight from Portland to Sacramento and we ended up having lunch on Christmas Eve which turned out to be quite a divine time together indeed :)(u just never know who u will meet on a Southwest flight!),

Then I got to have my favorite "frozen yogurt" with Enoch and Joyce in good ol' Elk Grove and afterwards spent time reminiscing on a 10 year brotherhood and friendship with my best buddy Matt Ong in my car listening to Chris Rock crack jokes about "defending rap music" that was flippn hilarious!

We went to Borders and I bought him a bunch of "Joel Osteen" audio CD's for Christmas (Yes, I like Joel Osteen, don't get religious on me the guy inspires me with hope lol),

Later, my friend from UCLA ended up calling me up last night and told me how she had just broken up with her boyfriend and needed some encouragement, especially on Christmas eve. I was able to encourage her with a simple "Jesus loves you, He knows, He understands, He cares and with Him it's going to be okay." and then we talked about how that jerk didn't deserve her anyway j/k sorta of, but we did pray for him :)Now today is Christmas morning and I thought I would take a simple time out and say...

Thank you Jesus for dying on that Cross for me. Without You, there wouldn't be a Christmas to enjoy, to celebrate, to have and appreciate. Things are not perfect, a lot of people in this world may not have much, but if they have You, they have everything. Thank you to every person who has been a gift to me. You are loved and appreciated. I am thankful for every "moment" I've had, I've remembered, even the ones I have forgotten. Life is about breathing. Life is about being present. Life is about moments. My prayer, my hope and my ambition is to make more moments like these for the rest of my life with you and others. I realized I've lacked moments for most of my life. Sometimes you are so focused on whats ahead of you that you forget what is right before you. I've gotten so focused on the future, that I have forgotten the present. Yet, when you stop, take a breath, and become present to the blessings that are in your life at the present moment, you realize how rich, how full, how blessed, how amazing, how beautiful, how wonderful, how special, how great, how much you have to be thankful for. Thank you. Thank you to everyone and anyone who has ever made my life as alive as it is today.

Thank you God for life. You are all I want. All I need. You are everything.
Thank you Dad for doing your best.
Thank you Mom for sacrificing so much.
Thank you Joyce for persevering & never giving up.
Thank you Nancy for always loving.
Thank you friends for loving me as I am & giving me so much.
Thank you world for existing, without you there would be no chance to experience love

Merry Christmas :)

ps. My sister bought me this stick of "Believe in God Instantly Spray" hahaha! Basically, if the person won't convert just spray them with this spray & they will be instantly converted to Christianity lol :B

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jaeson's Thoughts: Rest

What does rest look like? I haven't been sleeping too well lately. Probably too much on my mind, because I'm doing too much on my own. God wants us to work, but not before we rest.

This past year of ministry has been fruitful. Although, I wish I had not pushed myself as hard as I did (we learn from our mistakes), God continued to pour out His mercy again and again. I am thankful for God's faithfulness, for even when we are unfaithful He is faithful. It is in perfect weakness that He is made strongest in our lives. I've been going on six years of non-stop itinerant traveling ministry, I think I need a break. This morning as I was praying and driving up from Socal to Norcal, I felt the Holy Spirit impress upon my heart the word "Jubilee" over and over again.

In the Old Testament "Jubilee" meant "freedom, restoration, favor, rest and peace" it was the year of rest. The Jubilee was the 50th year, but it was connected with the year of Sabbath which was the 7th year in a 7 year cycle for Israel. There were 6years of work and on the 7th year it would be a year of rest, restoration, blessing and favor. I believe God is asking me to take a year of rest soon as I enter into my 7th year of leadership & ministry responsibility.

But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. Leviticus 25:7,11

A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. (v.11)

A Jubilee - definition
Respecting the literal meaning of the word [ywbl] yobel, or yovel, critics are not agreed. The most natural derivation of the word seems to be from [hwbyl] hovil, the Hiphil form of [ybl] yaval, to recall, restore, or bring back, because this year restored all slaves to their liberty, and brought back all alienated estates to their primitive owners. Accordingly the LXX. render it here [aphesis] a "remission"; and Josephus says it signifies [eleutherian] liberty.

I am asking the Holy Spirit to restore my first love, to restore the liberty I once had in my walk with Him before all the busyness of ministry got in the way. Busyness kills passion. How will I find this place of rest and restoration? What is the Holy Spirit saying to me? Simple: STOP! I say, "stop what?" He says, "stop ministry!" How? I know the answer all too well, I need to learn to "rest". Quite & simple. We all need to rest. Alyson said something at Passion cChurch this Sunday quite profound, "We can't just be ones who give all the time, we also need to learn how to receive, we are good at giving as Christians, but how many of us are good at receiving?" Very true Alyson, we can only give what we have. If we don't have anything, we have nothing to give. If we don't take time to receive, we will only be giving out of a shortage, which means, we are not giving at all.

I wonder sometimes, what would it look like for me to be free from all ministry responsibilities? Speaking engagements? Prophetic assignments? For one year? That would be something :) I wonder what I would do? hmmmm....

1. Wait upon the Lord all day :)

2. Catch up on every book sitting on my book shelf

3. Make more rap tracks

4. Take an acting class & if possible...act in a movie/play

5. Play with kids :D

6. Have Starbucks with alot of old friends

7. Laugh more

8. Visit and explore castles in Europe

9. Eat alot of ice-cream (more than I already do)

10. Watch, listen & learn

11. Sleep like a baby

12. Spend quality time w/ family (especially mum)

13. Make more "moments" & remember them :)

I sense I maybe very soon taking a year off from ministry to "rest", pray that God would supernaturally give me wisdom, grace and faith to obey His leading in my life. That I learn to labor into His rest & live my life from that place of rest. Rest is not an option, it is a Biblical command. Without rest, we can't work. For all work flows from rest. It's hard to rest as human-doings. We love to find our value, worth and satisfction from what we do. But, we are not human doings, we are human-beings, created first to worship, that is, to be still and know that He is God. We want to make things happen & that's the problem "we want." But the Lord is asking us, "Do you want Me?" Do you trust me? Remember, "The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want." Because, ultimately resting in God is really trusting in God. Knowing that the battle is not ours, that we are not indespensible but despensible. He doesn't need our work, He just wants our friendship. And when He has that, then He can change the world through our lives. But not the other way around. I must learn to rest, I need to seriously take a chill pill, re-charge and do something that scares me: nothing :P

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Back from Asia - A Passion to Finish Well

I just got back a few days ago from our revival mission in Malaysia & meetings in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

My heart is full of joy when I think about all the salvations of lost souls coming to Christ that we witnessed in Malaysia & later in Hong Kong at the Franklin Graham Crusade. The harvest is truly plentiful!

* In Malaysia we did two nights of miracle outreaches and saw over 600 students give their lives to Jesus Christ!

* Miracles broke out on the streets as hundreds of students were activated in prophetic evangelism to win the lost

* The Holy Spirit gave me a prophetic word of knowledge of a specific man, with a specific name (I can't mention) who leads a major political party in the Muslim Government of Malaysia. I had no idea this man existed, but the Holy Spirit knew and when I called forth his name he was astonished and the word was that he would one day be the Prime Minister of this nation, change the constitution of the land according to God's principles and be used to turn Malaysia into a Christian nation. We ministered to him for over an hour prophetically and every word confirmed his calling and he was greatly encouraged. Pray for him and the nation of Malaysia to turn to Christ!

* In Hong Kong at the Franklin Graham Festival I was able to witness over 20,000 of my own Hong Kong Chinese people commit their lives to Jesus Christ in a span of four days. Each day, over 100,000 gathered in eight stadiums across this great city to hear the message of the Gospel preached with love and grace. It was as if I was witnessing before my eyes, the very book of Acts!

It was in 1997 that I officially gave my life back to Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade in San Jose Ca. At the time I was only maybe a few month old believer. But I remember inviting all my non-believing friends who were in gangs, off the streets, and drug addicts. I remember that night as if it were yesterday. Nearly 70+ friends came and the majority of them gave their lives to Christ that night. As I witnessed 10 years later thousands in my home country of Hong Kong/China also turn to the Lord in repentance, I got on my knees in the Hong Kong stadium and just gave thanks to almighty God. How beautiful it is the feet of those who preach the Gospel!

Sometimes, I have to pinch myself when I think about how I have been a born again believer for nearly 10 years now! I am definitely no longer a youth, but a young man who by the grace of God is still seeking God with all my heart, all my soul and all my strength. I made the decision to follow Jesus and I'm not turning back. He is worth it. He is surely worth it all.

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me. It is surely no sacrifice that I give my life for Him." CT Studd

My passion in life is to know and make known the manifest presence of God in this generation. It's only by God's grace, that after 10 years I am still running hard after God. I sense in this next season I am not to only run hard after God, but to learn to rest in God. He is preparing me for life long leadership in His kingdom. My prayer is that I would not only start strong, but finish even stronger. That my passion for Jesus would never die, but it would only burn with a hotter flame till the day I meet Him face to face in glory. God did not purpose me to run a sprint, but to run a marathon. I ask for your prayers that in this next season you would ask the Father to give me "rest" more than anything else. That I would learn to cherish the most important things in life. God. Family. Friends. & then Ministry. This is my heart. I will need His great grace to not only finish, but finish well.

Under the mercy,

Jaeson Ma

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Lead By Example, Not Yelling - Daily Bruin

This is an article that came out in the UCLA Daily Bruin on Friday :) It's about what our students in Passion Church are doing to counteract the preachers on our universities who bash and condemn people by preaching and living out the opposite, LOVE.

I'm proud of our student leaders in PC at UCLA, they boldly go out and preach the Gospel with the true heart of Christ every week on Bruin Walk. Now, what they are doing is having impact on students not just at UCLA, but campuses everywhere by showing us that love is the better way :) Read below...right on!

Lead by example, not yelling

* Lana Yoo, Bruin columnist
* Published: Friday, November 30, 2007

I’d never before imagined that I’d be called a whore, especially in public – and by a priest.

But, indeed, in his pious eyes, I am dirty and immoral, deserving to roast in hell.

I am also a poor, lost soul in need of salvation and pity. Or so I have felt when being approached by other evangelists on campus.

Never mind that we actually share the same religion.

Unfortunately, such antagonistic ways of evangelizing only minimize their cause by spreading misconceptions of religion. The fact is that true evangelism does not entail pity, defamation or accusation. There are more effective, respectful ways of spreading religious messages by alternative methods, such as passivity, which is simply living by example.

Such efforts are visible every Tuesday on Bruin Walk, where students from Passion Church hold up signs stating, “I am sorry for every Christian who has judged instead of loved,” and “Jesus thinks you’re beautiful.” Instead of arguing with passersby or patronizing potential converts, they peacefully stand, clutching the signs. Other evangelists on campus such as Jehovah’s Witnesses take a similar approach by making pamphlets and information available to interested passersby, as opposed to approaching them aggressively or launching into loud tirades.

Ironically, such unusual passivity in evangelical efforts only makes them more effective.

In addition, others feel more encouraged to approach these passive evangelists out of curiosity or interest, because they do not face the common experiences of being judged or pitied by more outspoken Christian believers.

Such is how I felt when I talked to Passion Church members out of curiosity. What did they hope to achieve by apologizing for the actions of other Christians?

“We want to counteract what other preachers are saying, condemning, judging and yelling,” said Myles Hamby, second-year global studies student. “There are a lot of hostilities and stereotypes towards Christians, and we want to break them down.”

“We want people to be attracted to (Christianity), not be scared to believe in it,” he added.

Daniela Garcia, fourth-year psychology student, said that common stereotypes are that “Christians are judgmental and feel self-righteous. People look at that as a slap in the face.”

The most interesting part of this conversation was finding out how some of the evangelists actually used to despise religion.

“I hated religion. I thought it was a waste of time, caused wars, and that we were better without it,” said Paula Wu, first-year neuroscience student.

She became attracted to the religion not by others pushing their beliefs upon her, but through her own accord.

“I noticed something different about them. They had kindness and patience that nobody could echo,” Wu said.

For Makoto Tachibana, fifth-year sociology student, this lack of judgment, sense of superiority and coercion turned his life around.

Previously, he had been involved in activities that he now regrets. He talked about how even though he started dropping into church and continued those regrettable activities and his church friends knew about them, they were neither condescending nor accusatory.

Tachibana reflected on how if they had in fact judged him in the stereotypical “Christian” way, he would have rejected the religion. However, it was their openness that encouraged him to follow the religion and eventually to abandon his previous lifestyle by his own choice.

In fact, it may be that people view religions such as Buddhism with less repulsion compared to religions such as Christianity because of the former’s lack of emphasis on invasive evangelism.

Similarly, both Tachibana and Wu became followers not because others forced them to do so, but because others gave them the freedom to choose to do so. They became believers because others proved that they were only human, too, and not any better than anyone else.

After all, talking the talk means nothing if you don’t walk the walk. And in religion, you don’t even need to talk the talk – only by walking the walk in your own life will others notice, join and believe.

If you have defensive tactics against preachers on campus, e-mail Yoo at jyoo@media.ucla.edu.