bethel, at its core… it’s core values!!!!!

It’s the second week of BSSM! One week has passed. There is so much I’ve received already; it’s hard to put into words. It’s the culture and core values that people carry here–they’ve been hammering it in these past six days. “These are Bethel’s core values! Core values! Core values!” That’s really important here, as I’ve come to realize…

So I will try to summarize into just three points what I’ve heard and received and understood as best I could:


Bethel believes (or really, God’s Word says so) that everyone is powerful. Translation: You are responsible for your own actions, and you don’t need someone else telling you what or what not to do.

That’s called Culture of Empowerment, not culture of control. So within the context of school, that means you won’t have an authority figure breathing down your neck, reminding you constantly when homework is due, or asking you why you didn’t show up to class or to service. No, that’s your responsibility–because you are powerful.

If you don’t want to be here, you are able to. You behave your way out of the organization. In other words, there are consequences to your actions, and at the end of the day, your behavior is your choice.

Quote from the BSSM Student Handbook: “The freedom of the BSSM environment requires a high level of self-management. One definition of freedom we like is, ‘I am able to tell myself what to do and make myself do it.’ That’s called self-control.”

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that mustard seed “sparkle”

This morning was BSSM registration day. The line was absurdly long, but fortunately I had the pleasure of meeting another BSSM student, Nathan, who stood in line next to me. He must be no more than 19 years old and had just graduated from high school. He shared passionately about his desire for God’s presence and power to invade in signs, wonders and miracles. I listened with rapt attention.

Nathan shared a testimony of a man who had broken his entire left side due to a motorcycle accident. His left shin was so shattered that doctors had to replace it with a piece of metal. He wore a half-body cast, and doctors told him it would take at least 3-4 months of physical therapy before he could start walking again. After a session of prayer and forgiveness—i.e. forgiving himself for the accident—he stopped taking pain medication and went to see his doctor, who told him that there was no more trace of metal in his shin but rather new bone had formed. A few weeks of physical therapy later, the man was walking on his own.

Another true story happened in Chicago during a Jesus Culture conference. Two ladies were walking around a neighborhood looking for people to pray for when they heard a blood-curdling scream from a house down the street. They quickly ran to the house, where a mother was grieving over her 3-year-old son who had just drowned in the bathtub. Paramedics were already at the scene performing CPR, but the boy was beyond rescue. The two ladies refused to accept it and started laying their hands on him and rebuking death to leave. Suddenly, the boy woke up and coughed out all the water. He was alive. He was raised from the dead.

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apples and raisins

My happiness meter is rising, one degree at a time. But it’s a different sort of happiness.

There is also great happiness when I am doing something I love that brings me a sense of accomplishment and success, and also when I am with those I love, my friends and family, making connections with people and being active in different forms of service.

But this type of happiness is something I’ve missed for a long time.

It’s the joy of being alone, with God. Doing the simple things in life, like cutting vegetables, or reading a verse and letting it float around in your brain as you stick out your tongue and taste its sweetness, sweet like honey.

Having the time to take a walk or simply sit still and do nothing, think of nothing. Breathing and soaking in God’s presence. Being alone and yet not alone…

I know this season won’t last forever. And it’s not meant to be. But this is my season of sitting in His shade.

“I delight to sit in his [Jesus] shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love. Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.”  (Song of Songs)

Yes, Lord. Let me eat and drink deeply now, so that I may be strengthened and equipped to respond in obedience when you call me out of this season. The time will come when I must arise to the challenge of whatever lies ahead.

“Arise, my darling! Come with me! To leap over mountains and bound over hills! Let us go to the mountain of myrrh!” (Song of Songs) 

But for now, I will enjoy apples and raisins 🙂

my first time: bethel healing rooms

This morning I went to the Bethel Healing Room (after my little ‘fiasco’ with the protein shake and vomiting). What happens is
you fill out a form about yourself and the type of physical healing you need. Then you are led to the hallway where 1-2 “prayer servants” immediately begin to share testimonies that stir up your faith and expectation, give words of knowledge about sicknesses, and heal people.

After that, your group is then led to the “ENCOUNTERING THE HEALER” room, where a teacher gives a short message about the character and heart of God as Healer, how He is a good Father who does not use sickness or disease to discipline His children (just like we would never do that to our own children), how it doesn’t matter what the cause of the sickness or disease was (whether self-inflicted or not) because it’s not about what we did but what Jesus has already done, and how NOW is the time of our salvation (e.g. healing, restoration, wholeness) not tomorrow or in five years, but now.

Then, everyone is led into the main “ENCOUNTER” room, which is the main sanctuary. There is live worship, painting, dancing and a testimony booth. Chairs are arranged in a creative, swirly fashion all around the room (not in rows), centered around the painters in the middle. Very artistic.

You’re encouraged to relax, soak and receive as prayer servants come over to you, look at your form to see what type of physical healing you need, and declare God’s healing over you. Singers sing prophetically, sometimes calling out specific sicknesses and diseases that God wants to heal in the room.

Once you have received prayer, you are encouraged to go to the “Great Room” to receive a message on “HOW TO STEWARD YOUR HEALING: WALKING IN DIVINE HEALTH.” Our teacher (she is 75 years old) was so flamboyant, cheerful and lively, it felt more like an interactive story play than a sermon.

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bad stuff goes out!

This morning, I woke up feeling really weak. I thought, “I have got to get some protein into my system!” So I went downstairs and shook up a cup of protein powder mixed in water. Slowly, I drank it down, sip by sip. After a few minutes, the nausea got worse, and I felt like throwing up.

I knelt down on the floor and began to pray and read the Bible, hoping the discomfort would go away. I commanded the nausea to leave in Jesus’ Name. But the feeling kept coming up. Eventually, I went to my bathroom and got down on my knees beside the toilet, with my head placed over the bowl ready to vomit at any minute.

Suddenly, I felt so lonely and homesick. I imagined if 媽媽 was here, how she would soothe me and bring comfort to me.

I was about to cry when the vomit came out. It was just brown water–the protein shake I had just drank. I hadn’t ingested much these past few days because of the Fast. But the water came out once, twice, three times.

Finally, when it was all done, I sat down and felt so much better. It’s a spiritual lesson too: Better to get the bad stuff out, than to hold it in and just try to ignore it. Eventually it comes out anyways.

Well, Good morning! 🙂 I’ve learned it’s better not to drink a protein shake (with just water) on an empty stomach. Now, time to go to the Bethel Healing Room!