Friday, September 9, 2011

Do good because you simply are that good.

I learned an important lesson from the American Dream:

"Don't do good because you expect good to be done back."
"Do good because you simply are that good."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Not to be sent away, Come give love

I had a second chance with the Holy Spirit.

A homeless man came up to me.
"Can you spare a penny?"

Right beside me was a friend whom I just befriended.
"I am really sorry, I have none on me."

I wanted to give.
But the Holy spirit said, "wait, watch."

It was an awkward silence but I sadly shook my head.

He walked right into the church and waited.

An elder walked out of the church with her kid.
When he asked her the same question, she too declined and walked up to us saying, "Can you give him some money so that he can go away?"

It was here that I became appalled.
Then Holy spirit said, "This is where it gets down hill. They came, not to be sent away. Now give him what you have planned to do."

This time I walked up and asked for his hand.
Once he stretched it open, I lay a stack of coins.

Usually, they will accept whatever change and mutter a thanks.
The main intention is just to get some money.

However, this guy felt different.

Instantly, his eyes blew wide open.
He stood quiet for the longest time I can imagine.
Maybe he was on high or shocked.
But all he said was, "oh my God. Thank you! God bless your heart, sir."

How did he know that it was in my heart?
How could we have said 'that they may go away' when they should be 'brought in'?


Trevor Hall - Brand New Day

(“Brand New Day” offers an upbeat message of accomplishing freedom by escaping selfish desires and bad habits. Hall says the song was inspired by Indian mystic Swami Vivekananda, who said, “Don’t fall asleep in the snow, or else you’ll never wake up.” Not to sleep in the snow means not to grow cold or be selfish, or you will never realize that you are lost yourself. Put a crown on the king is to put a consciousness on your mind.)

Don’t fall asleep in the snow,
Come up up up from below,
Wipe the sleep from your eyes
Oh, my, my!
Shake the dust of your hands,
And come run free on this land
if you wanna survive!

It’s time to wake up and sing
It’s time to wake up and sing
It’s time to wake up and sing
Put the crown on the king
Put the crown on the king
Live your life.

Now fallen soldiers arise,
Raise your hands to the skys.
I tell ya Momma's alive,
Lift up your love to the sky.
The sky don't don't question why,
This strength is of another kind,
Don't look around just look inside,
Ain't no lie it never dies so

We gonna wake up and sing,
We gonna wake up and sing,
We gonna wake up and sing,
Put the crown on the king
Put the crown on the king
It's your life

Sun coming up and everyone knows
Holding on to a time it's time to let go
This ain't for the money and not for the show
Like a river come down
Like a river come flow

I know you know we live we see
Were running to the rhythm and the rhythm don't sleep
Cook up the mixture
Tell all the listeners
This is the sound and we've come to listen


Come rise up, Come give love,
What you waiting for?
It's a brand new day.
All along here and now
What you waiting for
It's a brand new day

What you waiting for?
Wake up, wake up, wake up,
Wake up, wake up, wake up,
It’s a brand new day!
Wake up, wake up, wake up,
Wake up, wake up, wake up,
Let’s go it’s a brand new day!

Wake up, wake up, wake up,
Wake up, wake up, wake up,
It’s your brand new day!
Wake up, wake up, wake up,
Wake up, wake up, wake up,
Let’s go it’s a brand new day!

Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Well, there’s a lot of color."

By Michael Inbar contributor
updated 3/21/2011 10:59:28 AM ET

After a burst appendix nearly cost 4-year-old Colton Burpo his life in 2003, his parents were thankful just to have him alive and well. But when he opened up about his brush with death a few months later, they were shocked when he described a very vivid trip to heaven, and spoke of matters about which he had no apparent way of knowing.

During an automobile trip, when Sonja Burpo asked him about his memories of being in the hospital, little Colton replied: “Yes, Mommy, I remember — that’s where the angels sang to me.” A sweet answer, to be sure — but then Colton made his parents’ jaws drop when he told them about sitting in Jesus’ lap, watching his parents while he lay seemingly near death, and meeting his great-grandfather.

But most poignantly, Colton described meeting a sibling in heaven — even though he had no way of knowing that his mother had miscarried two years before he was born, since his parents had never told him.

Jesus and John the Baptist
Todd Burpo began telling of his son’s heaven-sent visions from the pulpit of the Crossroads Wesleyan Church in Imperial, Neb., where he serves as pastor. Word of mouth spread, and the family landed a book deal. The book — “Heaven Is for Real,” written by Todd with co-writer Lynn Vincent — has become a best-seller, with some 1.5 million copies in print since its release in November.

Appearing live on TODAY Monday with Sonja and Colton, who’s now 11, Todd told Matt Lauer he understands that naysayers may believe Colton’s story is a little too heavenly to be true — initially, so did he and Sonja. “At first we were surprised; we never anticipated to talk to our son about these things,” Todd told Matt Lauer.

“We didn’t share at first, and then once we started sharing, people were amazed,” Sonja Burpo added. “They were encouraged by what we were sharing with them.”

Colton was stricken with appendicitis shortly before his fourth birthday. Family guilt was heavy — for five days he lay getting sicker and sicker with what the family believed was stomach flu, which had previously hit Colton’s older sister Cassie.

Little Colton nearly didn’t make it: He lay in a hospital bed for 17 days. When he finally rallied, the family rejoiced — but they were floored when, months later, the boy began matter-of-factly describing what he had experienced when he was in between life and death: seeing Jesus dressed in royal purple, meeting John the Baptist, having angels sing to him to ease his anxiety.

The Burpos believed these were things Colton could have gleaned from his Bible studies. But he also told his mother he saw her talking on the phone in another room while he was having surgery, and saw his father praying in a small room, all while he was seated in Jesus’ lap.

“What caught my attention was he could tell me where I was while he was in surgery,” Todd told Lauer. “The surgeon couldn’t tell me that, the nurses couldn’t, my wife couldn’t tell me where I was praying. But he could tell me.”

Shocking revelation
Colton also spoke of meeting a long-departed relative in heaven, telling NBC News: “I was just sitting by the Holy Spirit and then this guy comes up to me and says, ‘Are you Todd’s son?’ I say yes, and he says, ‘Well, I’m his grandfather.’ ”
Colton said that everyone in heaven has wings. On Monday, he described his great-grandfather “Pops” as being “very big, huge wings, curly hair, a big smile, and he was very nice.”

But the real shocker came when Colton told his mother, “Mommy, I have two sisters.” Sonja told her son that he had to be referring to his oldest sister, Cassie, and his cousin Traci, but he responded: “No — I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?”

Sonja told Lauer the family had never uttered a word about the miscarriage to Colton — and what’s more, they never even learned the sex of their miscarried child. “It was a private hurt that we didn’t even share with our friends,” Sonja said, adding Colton’s revelation was at first “shocking, but then a relief that she’s OK, which we didn’t know she was a she.”

In a subsequent TODAY segment Monday, Sonja filled in Colton’s description of his meeting with his sister: “He told us what she looked like, and she wouldn’t stop hugging him. And she doesn’t have a name.”

“When he told us about his sister in heaven, that we hadn’t told him about, [it was] another one of those ‘holy cow’ moments — OK, he can’t make this stuff up, he can’t invent this; no memory was planted,” Todd told Lauer. “But the peace that came over us, and the healing, like, ‘Wow, I have a daughter in heaven waiting for me’ — I think a lot of people need that type of hope and healing, too. And I think that’s what a lot of people are finding when they hear Colton’s testimony, to know what they have to look forward to.”

When Lauer asked Colton what heaven looked like, the 11-year-old replied, “Well, there’s a lot of color. There are a lot of people and a lot of angels.”

In his second segment later on Monday, Colton gave Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb some additional details — such as the fact that there are no old people in heaven. “Nobody wears glasses, [and] you’re in like your 20s, 30s.”

Todd Burpo told The New York Times that the family is donating much of the money they make from the book sales. As for Colton, he’s mostly happy his story is helping people.

“People are getting blessed, and they’re going to have healing from their hurts,” the boy told the New York Times. “I’m happy for that.”


Would this even be a money-making scheme if someone is willing to have given away book sales money?

Monday, August 22, 2011

It is Furious

I am feeling more and more..

"His love is deep, His love is wide and it covers us.
His love is fierce, His love is strong and it is furious.
His love is sweet, His love is wild, and it's waking hearts to life." - Jeremy Riddle, Bethel Church

Eph 3:14-19

"I had a huge congregation for 20 years. Thousands of people came. I was successful, I was doing well with my strength.. But God had to bring me to my knees. The big event we conducted faced a huge storm, I fell from the roof and hurt my arm, my father-in-law came to help and died.. I heeded God's call and here, we came to San Francisco. I have been here for 10 years and now, we are a force to be reckon with."
- introducing his first move to C3 San Francisco and the wake of C3 Fairfield and C3 San Jose

"These are kids from the Project, from the streets. They are tough. They have seen their own parents get shot and died right in front of their own eyes.. They are in gangs and they need the Spirit. Because the Spirit is Freedom. They need to be freed."
- introducing to his ministry as a youth pastor

"The Bay Area is one of the most unsaved regions in the United States. It used to be the North Pacific, Seattle region. But no more. Less than 10% are Christians who even go to Church and even more than 10% unemployment rate. (national average is 10%)"
- introducing the plans to build 30 more C3 churches in the Bay Area

"I have been inviting people to come. I have put up "reserved" seats week after week. But they never come. But I am standing in faith for you, brother. The day will come, I will help put up "reserved" seats for you! They will come!"
- Church floor manager


God, teach me to more compassionate and love more like them.
Your love is truly, Furious.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

But Love is not a victory march, it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

i heard there was a secret chord
that david played and it pleased the lord
but you don't really care for music, do you
well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
the minor fall and the major lift
the baffled king composing hallelujah


well your faith was strong but you needed proof
you saw her bathing on the roof
her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
she tied you to her kitchen chair
she broke your throne and she cut your hair
and from your lips she drew the hallelujah


baby i've been here before
i've seen this room and i've walked this floor
i used to live alone before i knew you
i've seen your flag on the marble arch
but love is not a victory march
it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah


well there was a time when you let me know
what's really going on below
but now you never show that to me do you
but remember when i moved in you
and the holy dove was moving too
and every breath we drew was hallelujah

well, maybe there's a god above
but all i've ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
it's not a cry that you hear at night
it's not somebody who's seen the light
it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah


"Hallelujah" is a song written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, originally released on his studio album Various Positions (1984). Achieving little initial success, the song found greater popular acclaim through a cover by John Cale, which later formed the basis for a cover by Jeff Buckley. In recent years several cover versions have been performed by a large number and broad range of artists, both in recordings and in concert.

"Hallelujah", in its original version, is a song in "12/8 feel", which evokes the styles of both waltz and gospel music. Written in the key of C major, the chord progression follows the lyric "it goes like this, the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, and the major lift": C, F, G, A minor, F.


In 2004, Buckley's version was ranked number 259 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The same year Time called Buckley's version "exquisitely sung," observing "Cohen murmured the original like a dirge, but ... Buckley treated the ... song like a tiny capsule of humanity, using his voice to careen between glory and sadness, beauty and pain... It's one of the great songs."

In September 2007, a poll of fifty songwriters conducted by the magazine Q listed "Hallelujah" among the all-time "Top 10 Greatest Tracks" with John Legend calling Buckley's version "as near perfect as you can get. The lyrics to Hallelujah are just incredible and the melody's gorgeous and then there's Jeff's interpretation of it. It's one of the most beautiful pieces of recorded music I’ve ever heard." In July 2009, the Buckley track was ranked number three on the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time, a listener poll held every decade by the Australian radio station Triple J."

Still, Buckley's version was not an instant hit, nor did Buckley live to see the full measure of the reception his recording would ultimately have; he died in 1997. The album on which it appeared did not go Gold in the U.S. until 2002, nine years after its release. In fact, like Cohen's original, the Buckley version was never officially released as a single, and the singer's cover first charted posthumously in 2006. In March of that year, Buckley had his first national Top 10 bestseller when "Hallelujah" went to number seven in Norway. In 2007 it made the top 3 on the Swedish charts. In March 2008 it hit number one in France. In April 2008 it topped Billboard's Hot Digital Songs in the U.S., where the sudden resurgence of interest catapulted Buckley's version past both Gold and Platinum status, the RIAA certifying the digital track on April 22, 2008.

The Buckley version has been widely featured in film and television dramas, including the series The West Wing, House MD, Crossing Jordan, Without a Trace, The O.C., Scrubs, House, Dirt, Criminal Minds, ER, Third Watch, Ugly Betty and LAX, and the films Feast of Love, The Edukators, Vinterkyss and Lord of War.[citation needed] "Hallelujah can be joyous or bittersweet, depending on what part of it you use", Time quoted the late Buckley's publisher as saying of the track, and the magazine opined that its liberal use in some cases was "a tacit admission that neither the writers nor the actors could convey their characters' emotions as well as Buckley."


In 2005, "Hallelujah" was named the tenth-greatest Canadian song of all time in Chart magazine's annual readers' poll. The BBC commemorated the 25th anniversary of the first recording with an hour-long radio documentary, The Fourth, The Fifth, The Minor Fall, in which the song's history and numerous cover versions were presented and discussed.

On 21 December 2008, "Hallelujah" became the first song in 51 years to occupy the first and second positions on the UK Singles Chart; The X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke's and American singer Jeff Buckley's covers were the two highest-selling songs in the week beginning 15 December 2008. Leonard Cohen's version attained the number 36 spot in the same chart.

In the February 2009 issue of Blender, "Hallelujah" was featured as that month's "Greatest Song Ever" (a monthly feature).


Brother John's story made me understand the real meaning of Hallelujah.
Love is not a victory march and not somebody who's seen the Light.
It is cold and a broken Hallelujah.
It is about pressing in.

"In the Hebrew Bible hallelujah is actually a two-word phrase, not one word. The first part, hallelu, is the second-person imperative masculine plural form of the Hebrew verb hallal. However, "hallelujah" means more than simply "praise Yah", as the word hallel in Hebrew means a joyous praise in song, to boast in God. Hallel could also refer to someone who acts madly or foolishly.

The second part, Yah, is a shortened form of YHWH, the name for the Creator. This name is not pronounced by Jews, as they are not permitted to speak the name of God, and in any case the correct pronunciation is not known. However, it is sometimes rendered by Christians as "Yahweh" or "Jehovah". Although the Septuagint translates Yah as Kyrios (the Lord), it is not the title "lord".

In Psalm 150:6 the Hebrew reads kol han'shamah t'hallel yah; It appears in the Hebrew Bible as הללו~יה and הללו יה. In Psalm 148:1 the Hebrew says "הללו יה hallelu yah". It then says "hallelu eth-YHWH" as if using "yah" and "YHWH" interchangeably. The word "Yah" appears by itself as a divine name in poetry about 49 times in the Hebrew Bible (including hallelu yah), such as in Psalm 68:4–5 "who rides upon the deserts by his name Yah" and Exodus 15:2 "Yah is my strength and song". It also often appears at the end of Israelite theophoric names such as Isaiah "yeshayah(u), Yahweh is salvation" and Jeremiah "yirmeyah(u), Yahweh is exalted".

The word hallelujah occurring in Psalms is therefore a request for a congregation to join in praise toward God. It can be translated as "Praise God" or "Praise Yahweh, you people", and is usually worded in English contexts as "Praise the Lord".
"Hallelujah" appears in Revelation 19 in Greek transliteration as "hallelouia" (ἁλληλουϊά), the great song of praise to God for his triumph over the Whore of Babylon. This transliteration also appears in the Septuagint."

You can only request when there is no reason to do so.
Brother John did that.

"fried fish and French fries"

"There are shootings every other day..
I hate to admit it that I am becoming desensitized, to knowing that everyday there is a shooting, while there is someone who is killed or hurt everyday."

I am in a different world.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- A man who was shot while feeding the homeless with his family in East Oakland early Wednesday morning has succumbed to his injuries, a police spokeswoman said.

Police responded to the 1000 block of 47th Avenue at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday after someone flagged down a California Highway Patrol officer to report the shooting, Oakland police Sgt. Holly Joshi said.

Officers found the man and his wife suffering from gunshot wounds, and they were taken to a hospital. The woman's injuries were minor but the man died at the hospital, Joshi said today.

Police have not released his name, but published reports state that he was known in the neighborhood as "Brother John," and that he often fed the homeless. Joshi said the couple and their two young children had been handing out food to people in the area and had pulled over to the side of the road.

An unknown suspect then pulled up alongside them and began shooting, Joshi said.

"It is a case of mistaken gang-wars, drug abuse, anger, unfairness."

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The only way police can describe it is a "senseless act." A man is clinging to life after being shot in the head while feeding the homeless in East Oakland early Wednesday morning.

It's not looking good. Police call these life threatening injuries. The man is on life support at a hospital in Oakland and homicide investigators are on this case. In addition to the man's wife being shot, a police source tells ABC7 one of the man's young daughters was also struck by a bullet. She and her mom are both expected to survive.

He is known simply as Brother John and just about everyone in the area knows him. At least once a week, Brother John, his wife and their two young daughters pass out home-cooked meals to East Oakland's homeless.

"He stops right in the middle of the road and gives you some food," Tony said.
"He came out here and fed us last night -- fried fish and French fries," Roxanne said.

That fish meal served in the shadow of the BART tracks and out of the back of Brother John's van on 47th Avenue may be his last and a man named Bill could be the last man he ever helped.

"He passed Brother John's van, he stopped and he backed up, then all of a sudden three shots, I ducked, then two more shots," Bill said.

The shooter fired into the van with 29-year-old Brother John and his family sitting inside.
Police do not have a motive for a shooting they can only describe as senseless.

"They were just trying to do a good deed and feed people that were less fortunate than they were," Oakland Police Offc. John Scott said.

And while everyone on these streets knows Brother John's name, few seem to know more about him than that.

Except Bill, who has called these streets home for more than 20 years. Once Brother John looked for help from the one person he was there to serve.

"One time he was going to stop because he said, 'You know, Bill, I don't think people appreciate what I do for them,' I said, 'Brother John, as long as one person appreciates what you do for them, that's good,'" Bill asid.

Wednesday, there was nothing but appreciation for Brother John and the kindness he showed for those who don't often get it -- appreciation and anger.

"That man don't have an enemy; it was a senseless killing," Bill said.

Police are not releasing Brother John's identity for his safety. The witness, Bill, says the shooter was alone in an older model turquoise Astro van. There is a $25,000 reward for an arrest in the case.


The East Coast–West Coast Hip Hop Rivalry was a feud in the early-mid 1990s between artists and fans of the East Coast and West Coast hip-hop scenes. Seeming focal points of the feud were East Coast-based rapper The Notorious B.I.G. (and his label, Bad Boy Records), and West Coast-based rapper 2Pac (and his label, Death Row Records), both of whom were murdered.

The Notorious B.I.G.
Born in St. Mary's Hospital, despite later claiming to be raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Wallace grew up in neighboring Clinton Hill. Wallace was the only child of Voletta Wallace, a Jamaican preschool teacher, and George Latore, a welder and small-time Jamaican politician. His father left the family when Wallace was two years old, leaving his mother to work two jobs while raising him. At the Queen of All Saints Middle School, Wallace excelled in class, winning several awards as an English student. He was nicknamed "Big" because of his size before he turned 10. At the age of 12, he began selling drugs. His mother, often away at work, did not know that her son was selling drugs until Wallace was an adult.

Shakur was a voracious reader. He was inspired by a wide variety of writers, including William Shakespeare, Niccolò Machiavelli, Donald Goines, Sun Tzu, Kurt Vonnegut, Mikhail Bakunin, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, and Khalil Gibran. In his book, Dyson describes the experience of visiting the home of Shakur's friend and promoter Leila Steinberg to find "the sea of books" once owned by Shakur.

Shakur never professed following a particular religion, but his lyrics in singles such as 'Only God Can Judge Me' and poems such as The Rose That Grew from Concrete suggests he believed in God. This means many analysts currently describe him as a deist. He believed in Karma, but rejected a literal afterlife and organized religion.


The Rose that Grew from Concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?

Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.

Tupac Shakur

Monday, July 11, 2011


I attended my first C3 SF service last Sunday and I was blown away..

Listening to Kate, Hannah, & Phil representing Freedom House on Freedom Sunday made me realized how grim the situation is.

Some of them have been abducted and enslaved for as much as 23 years..
14,500 - 17,5000 trafficking victims in US every year.
10-30M slaves in the world.
In 1809, a slave costs USD$40,000.
In 2010, a slave costs USD$90.
54% of trafficking victims were introduced by strangers.
46% of trafficking victims were introduced by own relatives.
More than 70% of victims are females.
50% are children.

"Some survivors need life skills training. For instance, survivors may need to learn how to use the public transportation system, access education, employment and social services or obtain appropriate government identification cards. Freedom House will provide a myriad of life skills training with the help of coaches. Instruction will include assistance with driving, shopping, use of public transportation, social outings and more."

- A Way Home -
"Survivors need to determine where to go after rescue. Regardless of their citizenship, they may not be able to return home. Domestic survivors may not be able to return home. Foreign survivors may choose to remain in this country or return to their home country. While they weigh difficult decisions, Freedom House will provide a sanctuary that will give them the space to understand their options and make the right decision."

I have been so accustomed to helping Depression. But for the first time, I am presented with a greater challenge: To help Oppression. How many of us can even say, we are able to help the oppressed?

Joseph was sold by his brothers.
The miracle was in him forgiving his brothers.
But the power of God is that he redeemed an entire oikos.

Freedom is a redeeming power. We cannot redeem the past, we can only redeem a future.


Guess who led the rescue usually? Thy Neighbour! The whistle-blower!

"A place you can go after you are being rescued, it is not a physical home. You now realize that you are redeemed by God and through God." - Kate

"What is the difference between Church and non-profit organizations? It was inhumanely possible." - Kate

"God is always pursuing people" - PM
"Poverty is caused by injustice and selfishness!" - PM
"God has prepared a course.. for Freedom!" - PM

"With Character and Spirit, we populate the city to be infused with His Revelation." - PM