Kelvin Ling

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Archive for October 2009

Day 4: Kindness/Forgiveness

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The next few days until Day 7 is one long continuation as it may be around the same theme.  Then again, this whole ‘journey/experiment’ centers around one theme: Getting to know God and be a better person.  Why not Day 7, well, I already have the topic selected and it fits perfectly with Day 7.

Today I am reminded of just how important it is to practice patience, kindness, and forgiveness.

What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ.

— 2 Corinthians 2:10

An event of the day has me practicing the things I have learned thus far in life.  Sure I can get mad about the wrongs that have been done to me by others but as I was digesting the issues, a thought came to me which may have forever changed my view on the events of the past.  I was told to ‘forgive’.  We are not perfect and I am not saying I am not to blame for the situation but instead of being pitty or getting into the He said/She said discussion, I practiced James 1:19-20 and am just taking things on as is.  Forgive others and I will seek peace in the arms of God.  Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) right?

Whether I was right or wrong no longer matters.  I have decided to choose to forgive the actions of others and start a new.  The following seems appropriate, to slightly paraphrase.

Whatever you haven’t forgiven in others, forgive it today. Let it go. Just as we ask Jesus to “forgive us our debts” each day, we must ask Him to help us “forgive our debtors” each day as well. – Day 25: The Love Dare

I can’t change others and I know they don’t do things just to piss me off.  We are who we are and we all have faults.  None no more than anyone else, certainly no more than I.  And I am not going to be bitter and harbor unforgiveness for anything done to me by others in my past or present.

I pray to my Heavenly Father to help heal the wounds faster and He already has.  I just wish I would wake up and be healed for every wrong I have experienced.

Each day is a new day to learn and grow spiritually.


Written by Kelvin

October 29, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Day 3: ARK

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The ‘ARK’ abbreviation reminds me of the movie Evan Almighty where at the end of the movie Evan is talking to God and God writes A-R-K on the ground.

God: How do we change the world?
Evan Baxter: One single act of random kindness at a time.
God: [spoken while writing A-R-K on ground with a stick] One Act, of, Random, Kindness.

I have always wanted to do this, perform an Act of Random Kindness (ARK).  I have had this idea in my mind ever since last fall.  Every now and then on Friday mornings I treat myself to a Starbucks coffee on the way to work.  I see myself driving up to the Starbucks drive-thru, ordering and paying for my coffee and paying for the coffee or order of the driver behind me.  Don’t know why it has to be Starbucks cause it could really be any type of drive-thru.  I got the idea from the Ford commercial where the lady pays for dry cleaning of a shirt of the dude behind her.  Not sure if they were both in a Mustang but one of them was I think.

There has been a couple of times when I am ready to do this but have backed out.  I can feel the rush of this mysterious act but got scared.  So, this time I am going to do it.  Granted it doesn’t have to be Day 3 and it can be any day but I am making a point that during this journey I am going to perform an ARK at least once.

update: Saturday, 11/07/209

I did it, I finally did it.  This happened yesterday when I went to get my Friday Starbucks treat.  I almost backed out again but so happy to have gone through with it.  I was very nervous getting ready for work, thinking what I would say to the barista.  Should I ask to pay for the order or pay for the coffee only or should I ask how much was the order before offering to pay.

As I drove up to the drive-thru there was no cars behind me, after I gave my order there was still no car behind but two in-front.  The car at the window was a police officer and I thought that would have been good as a way to thank them for their service.  Still no car behind me and at the moment the car in front pulled up to the window a Nissan Exterra (black) pulled into the lot and I was hoping it would do drive-thru and IT DID!  As the car in front got their order I saw the Nissa pulling up behind me.  I was super nervous at this point, what would I say, what if the barista said no that it couldn’t do that.

I handed the barista my debit card and I was so nervous I stumbled in my words but managed to say ‘I would also like to pay for the order of the driver behind me’.  She took it and repeated my statement and my heart was beating super fast at this point and replied ‘yes ma’am’.  Then I saw her swipe my card twice, I looked at my rear window to see the driver.  Transaction completed and I quickly pulled away.

I wonder what her reaction was, part of me wants to know but then it would defeat the whole purpose of the random act.  It was so fun and I am so happy to have done it, finally!  God has blessed me in many ways in my life and this is one small way to say ‘thanks’.  I hope it made an impact to the driver, I know it has made a big impact to me.

Written by Kelvin

October 27, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Day 2: Apologize to your Heavenly Father

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How can I forget a significant action I did while watching the movie that started me on this ‘journey/experiment’.  I debated if I should make this Day 0 or replace with the current Day 1.  I started to change days but then I remembered that this is trial and error for me and there is no correct sequential steps to this ‘journey/experiment’.  At the end of the whole thing we can clean up if needed and besides, the best part about all of this is that there is no rule.  Any days can be swapped and the days are always repeatable at any point and should be repeated.  Who says I can only practice patience once.  If you have driven in Atlanta rush hour traffic you will know that every day, twice a day is a practice in patience.

What I forgot was what I did after being impacted by James 1:19-20.  After I looked up the reference and movie continued to Chapter 16, I paused to let my dogs outside for a bathroom break and to let the verses sink in and to think about the scenes of Chapter 16.  I went outside for a little talk with God and I realized that I needed to apologize for my bad behaviors before I can turn the leaf and try to become a better person.  So, this makes for Day 2.  Apologize for anything you want so you can start new and get to know God the way He wants you to and the way you want to know God.  (I should probably say God and Jesus, in fact they are interchangeable throughout this journey, I feel getting to know one is getting to know both.  Please forgive me if I failed to mention both at the same time.)

I have always struggled with how to say a prayer, whether it needed to be out loud or can it  be silent.  While I was outside I figure I should just speak since it was a conversation, wasn’t worried about who would hear me (besides my dogs) at this time of the night, it was about 1am-ish Sunday morning.  But one of my next door neighbor was having a smoke on their patio so I went with the silent conversation.

Trust me, there is no right or wrong way to do this.  Just speak from your heart like I did and I will be the first to tell you that my prayers could be better.  It is nothing like Mr. Andy Stanley’s prayers or like a friend of mine’s grace.  The grace this particular friend says is so elegant that  it makes me want to write it down and save it for another day.

This is what I can remember about what I said in my prayer plus the prayer I said last night before bed in preparation for Day 1’s withholding my anger during the day challenge.

Dear God,

I’m sorry for being angry lately and for not being a Godly person.  I’m sorry for being angry at work over situations that I know is not all the person’s fault and that I should have handled the situations better.  I want to get to know You better and be a much better person.  Please give me the courage to do the right thing by not saying anything and for the wisdom to know when not to speak.

As I am writing this, I can happily say today has been a fantastic day.  I was able to see times when the old Kelvin would have gotten angry but I did not.  I did things right, I paused and spoke with kindness.  I feel better and it is as if I am a different person, can’t describe it right now but it seems like I am watching myself from somewhere else.

Day 1 went very well for me.  Instead of getting angry during the morning meetings I was most worried about I just tweeted James 1:19 and that made me laugh and helped.

Can’t believe I have not gotten angry at all today.  I wonder what my blood pressure is right now.  🙂

Oh, that last sentence is funny cause I have high blood pressure.  I think the highest I have been recorded at was 167/146, not just once.

Written by Kelvin

October 26, 2009 at 3:37 PM

Day 1: Patience

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Our words often reflect the conditions of our heart.  For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to those around you at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It’s better to hold your tongue than to say something you’ll regret.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. – James 1:19-20

Written by Kelvin

October 25, 2009 at 10:20 PM

Love Dare minus the marriage part

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Last night I watched the movie Fireproof and it hit me like a train full of deep thoughts and action items.   It was a great movie worthy of 5 stars as seen by my Netflix ratings review.  In the past year I have tried to get to know God better and I have made some progress from years past but I know I am no where near where others are with their faith.  At times I have questioned the existence of God but I am getting much better at trusting and learning not to question everything.  Despite the uncertainly at the workplace of whether or not I will get laid off, I know God will take care of me and I have a peace about the situation where before the whole church experience I would not have.

My progress has been helped a lot by Buckhead Church and sermons by Andy Stanley.  His messages at times seem to be directly at me and what is happening in my life.  The message series on my first visit to the church with a friend was ‘Why Worry’ and it somehow was perfect timing.  I can now say that God was working on His plan for me all along without being as cynical as before.  That message and others have help me become a better person but lately I have not been a good person.  Not that I am out committing crimes but I have been angry and after wards I know I should not have.  And last night during the movie I decided to take a different approach to dealing with what is troubling me.

I have been reading the Bible on a semi-regular basis and can only recall one reference (Mark 8:36) until now.  The movie referenced James 1:19 and I immediately paused the dvd to look it up.  WOW was my first reaction then I tried to memorize it for it was perfect for what I have been thinking about for the last two days.  Work would be a lot better place if people would just listen to me.  I should put notes around the office with the saying: ‘Kelvin was right, Kelvin is right, and Kelvin will always be right’ but that wouldn’t be very God worthy of me.   I need to realize that God still loves them despite their and my shortfalls and that I should act better.  Very much like Caleb should act towards his wife.  It wasn’t his wife that he was angry at just like it is not my coworkers I am angry at but it was something else.

So where am I going with all of this.  Well, the movie talked about a Love Dare in 40 days.  What got me thinking was Day 1 and how I can apply that to my current situation and why not try the process or tweak it slightly since I am not married or even dating for that matter not for the lack of trying, well okay maybe just a little.  And through it I hope to know God the way that I want.  Maybe God was trying to talk to me through the movie since I keep praying for a sign.  I know, there are so many ways to decipher the meaning but you know what, who cares.  I used to ask myself the various meanings of something but who cares.  Doesn’t really matter in the end and if it gives me some sort of peace or hope then that’s fine.  I have this theory that religion was a way for people of the past to deal with crisis but that’s another post for another day.

So, I am going to try and figure out a God Dare journal similar to Love Dare  and try to get to know God like Caleb did in the movie.  It would be great if I have the same happy ending as he where I get to kiss the girl and we live happily ever after but that would just be brownies to my ice cream cake.  I figure my Day 1 could be tomorrow since I know I have a few meetings where the old Kelvin will no doubt be a little angry over the inefficient use of everybody’s time or people asking stupid questions so I will try and remember James 1:19 and 1:20.  I figure instead of getting angry I can try and recite the verses in my head so I don’t quickly react.

I will need to get the Love Dare journal to know what all the other days are so this little experiment of my won’t be 40 sequential days but that’s ok I think.  It is not really the days that matter.  There are a number of resources in the web about ‘Getting to know God in 40 Days’ (why 40 days, well, that will be another post as I am learning the significance of 40 in the Bible) and I will have to do some research and try out the ordering.  This is going to be fun I think.  And of course through the way I will have God to guide me.  I know I am going to make mistakes and have things out of order but it is my hope and prayer to be a much better person in the end.  If you know me you would know what I mean, the incidents of my past has done a few things to me that I so wish to change.

I have felt for a while now that I am still at my current employer for a reason and that once as soon I figure out what and has done what I need to do, my next chapter will reveal itself.  It is like the show Quantum Leap where Sam has to figure out what he needs to do in order to jump again.  Well, just call me Sam.

So there is the:

I hope to use this blog category as way to document my progress and thoughts.  I debated if I should make this private but why not share the experience and besides if you happen to read this it may be for some reason.

A friend asked what made me rent the movie and in thinking back there was no reason.  I saw the trailer in the preview of another dvd that I rented and the story line was interesting but not normally my genre and seemed kinda stupid.  Something just made me add it to my queue and there is the saying that ‘God works in mysterious ways’.  So glad I rented it and the timing is most scary.  This was weeks ago if not months and I moved it top of my queue for no real reason just last week.

If you happen to read this, I would much appreciate any feedback as I go through this experiment of mine and I am very excited to see how it turns out.

Written by Kelvin

October 25, 2009 at 12:44 PM

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