Heavy Storm : Hi, My Name Is . . .

Introduction :

In my Book, there exist two versions of me. One who was hostage to the World and by it Dead. And one who is living through identity in Christ. To be detailed, there exists one version of me when I was lost, confused, and depressed. My whole existence was so separated and distanced from everything around me. What little there was of me, was just a pathetic pile of rotting trash. Then came one version of me, revitalized with God’s electrifying energy. Through this energy, I climbed out of the fissures of sorrow and into the wide-open arms of my Father.

This revitalization recovered the lost parts of me and added much more than I had asked for. Through the empowerment of Jesus Christ, I became a soldier on fire with the full armor of God fighting the battle’s which I was pulled towards. My newfound identity became a symbol of hope and a harbinger of His love. Now, I fight with passion for you.

To fully understand how a transformation like this could have taken place, we need to rewind way back to where my soul started to split and I became sorrow and sadness. I was saved a year ago. Three years before my saving was my crash. I fell deep into the pits and spiraled out of control. Due to my belief that I had full control of my life, when I spiraled out of control there was no one there to slow my trajectory down. I went down and it was fast. 

 

Twin Cities :

Three years before my saving I was just a freshman at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. I had complete control of high school life because everything was easy for me. Academics, mind, emotions, friends, and living were completely under my control. I assumed I would be in control of them when I would start my collegiate years at Minnesota. My college plan was set out for the next eight years. Although I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I was given gifts to do the many possibilities. My ambition and motions were nonexistence. I didn’t know what I truly wanted, I just wanted to live the college life really bad.

My freshman year is difficult to talk about because it all seems like a blur to me. I was lost and the stereotypical college experience was what I desired. Long story short, it was a lot of partying and it was a lot of depression. I’m not sure why, but my living-learning community just liked getting together, drinking, and then talk about sad stuff. When you are surrounded by this and consistently partaking, even the most joyful soul can be extinguished. It didn’t take long for me to avoid classes. I couldn’t sleep consistently and that’s where my insomnia developed. After a tearful metldown with my mother, I told her I needed to get out of the city and just restart. Mentally, physically, but most especially emotionally. 

 

La Crosse :

I transferred out of the Twin Cities and to the University of La Crosse. I’m not really honestly sure why I transferred to La Crosse, but I created reasons for myself to believe. There was my best friend from high school who was there and would support me. There was the fact that it was quite smaller than the Twin Cities as well. I thought being closer to home was going to make it easier. All these were lies I told myself but what did I know? I was at the lowest at that point.

I had tried to kill myself at the Twin Cities. There was one man, put by God, who intervened. His story is for another time, but his name was Scott and he became the saving grace that showed me that happiness, though seemed far away from me, was abundantly possible and it was only a heart away. The time at La Crosse wasn’t all that much better than my time at the Twin Cities. I was damaged and I never went out to party.

I got addicted to gaming and my roommate and I spent hours a day playing. It was the only “happiness” I could find. Not even alcohol, drugs, or love could fill it. I just felt so empty and like a ghost, I was sucking on anything that could give a little bit of happiness. Are you wondering what about the friend that I thought was going to support me? Well, no surprise he completely changed and he became a social animal and he loved going out. Now, not only was I sad but I felt great regret and rejection. Here I am expecting something earthly to cure or at the very least nullify my depression. Foolish, I was. 

 

Break : 

I started being prescribed all these drugs and going to therapy. I am going to write a post about depression, suicide, antidepressants, and anxiety soon but it is a complex and sensitive topic that I’m familiar with but I do not have the necessary attention span of my readers to write about it all here. In short, the drugs made me emotionless and like a zombie. Going to bed and waking up was a hard battle itself and if I ever got out of bed within 5 hours, it was a victory. Truly I tell you, there are many who understand what I’m talking about.

I left La Crosse and came back home completely torn apart, ripped, and damaged to the core. There was nothing about me that wasn’t ripped apart. My spirit especially was weary. I had lost hope. Hope, is a complicated topic that also will deserve its own post as well. The ultimate question was, what can you do with shattered pieces? What was once a heavenly masterpiece just seems too broken to put together now. A sad hollow vessel carrying not even a soul to live. To breath the stale air, and then to exhale lifeless air was my existence.

I felt useless and worth nothing. I had failed the world, and most especially I failed myself. No longer was I the confident boy who had everything under control. The control I perceived I had, was there no more. It didn’t help that I had an uncle who kept telling me how stupid and wrong I was for even going to Minnesota. I just couldn’t fight anymore, and I accepted it. The world took the opportunity to beat me down and I accepted it because my spirit was too weak to fight back. I lost who I was, and most importantly I rejected my name and my past. My existence became and I accepted entirely the failure that I thought I was. 

 

Khan :

I took a break from college. I didn’t know who I was anymore and I for sure knew I wasn’t who I was previously. He was long gone and every time I went searching for him, he could not be found. With this feeling, I took a job at Costco. I just needed some consistency in my life and I thought a job would be perfect. It would distract me and I could make a little cash on the side. Who was I when I went to work for Costco though? I rejected who I was before, but I wasn’t familiar with who I was now. The person who I became, his name is Can, pronounced Khan. I took this name and this name represented the pathetic mold that I was. It became a part of me that showcased the beatings done by the depression and sadness.

Hi, my name is Khan. How may I help you? This was my new way of greeting. I didn’t know who this Khan was but this name became a part of me that reminded me who I wasn’t. It reminded me that I had lost myself to this world and now the world had its grip on me and I was lost in the maze of the sad world. My given name is Zhong Can. In Chinese, phonetically, zh is a j, o is a long o, and the c is a weird combination of t and s (ts), and short a after. Zhong Can. I took Khan over Can because I hated just the sound of Can, soda can. It was terrible! Zhong Can is the name the world gave me and it means brilliant. It’s silly how my name became an oxymoron. I went through this season believing the exact opposite.

 

This Is Who I Am :

My parents, the gifts from God, cannot speak Chinese at all and they butchered it when they tried pronouncing my name. It came out as Donton. You must understand that this name was the heavenly name given to me by the gifts that were my parents though! Without them I wouldn’t be alive, so I loved this name because it represents life new life given to me. When the whole world had rejected me at birth, it was these people who gave me this silly name but the silly name came with a fresh and loving life! Sadly, this was the name that died. I had rejected my righteous name.

My name is not Khan. Khan is the name that represented my weakness. It represented my inability to fight the depression and how I allowed myself to reject my former name because I didn’t think I deserved it and I thought my former was dead. It is the version that was ignorant of Christ’s salvation. Khan is now the name I see of my former self and I laugh at it. I am in awe at the sheer power of healing which God has done in me. I am grateful for the sheer amount of will He provided to overcome some of the worst doubts of depression. Khan now gives me confidence and I do not mind it anymore because it doesn’t represent my rejection of my former self. It represents how the world attempted to drag me down, and how I persevered. Khan represents how close I was to suffering eternal damnation and fire but now I am living in eternal life.

 

My Identity :

My name is Zhong Can, also known as Donton. I am saved and God loves me. It took me three years to finally accept my true identity. It wasn’t my control that led to me finding myself again, it was Jesus Christ and never again will I reject the name that was a blessing given to me. If you are my friend, call me Donton. Call me Donton knowing who my true identity is. I am proud of this name and this is who I am. I am a loving child of the God Almighty and Jesus Christ is my savior.

Snatch Steal : Steal Back Your Youth From The World

Pleasure :

If you ever have been addicted to anything then you’d understand that when you indulge you do not care about the past or the future. What matters most is only the present and the satisfaction of temporary happiness guaranteed by the indulgence. We know from our past that our addictions are bad and that the indulgence will ultimately negatively affect our future ability to quit. However, during the present point, we feel the strong need to be happy at that singular state. All time periods are independent of each other with our indulgences. This is a sad case of how this perspective of time negatively affects people. It is the reason why it is so hard to pull out of addiction when we are gifted with that extreme sense of pleasure in the present.

The same case occurs with sexuality. God has blessed us with sexuality so that we may enjoy, in the present, our partner. However, if we indulge without that intention then it can become an addicting force that may lead us to feel trapped by our biological feelings. At the point we indulge in sexuality for manners other than the primary purpose, then it becomes the period when we shut out God. It only takes a split moment of time for us to feel so far apart from God even though we have only left him out for just a little bit.

Pleasure In Christ :

I’m talking about dopamine and endorphins and the powerful force it has on our ability to reason with the present point against the overall cumulative states. We are blessed to feel now more than the future. I believe these intense feelings released by dopamine were created by God so we could enjoy Him more. I personally am affected by this when I listen to worship. It is during this period of happiness from God that makes me most grateful for Jesus Christ and what He is. This gift can sometimes be used by the devil to trick us into what it was not intended to do. Adultery, Gluttony, and Addiction are just some of the sad consequences. It is our choice to snatch control back from the devil.

We don’t have to face this battle because it has already been won and we know it as our savior, Jesus Christ. With his resurrection, we can be assured that we have new life in Him. To feel Jesus Christ and how much His sacrifice meant to you in every moment of your day. That is what glorifying Him looks like. Jesus Christ sacrifice was sufficient for the past and the future for all of humanity. We are the living vessels to carry him through the present and the now.

Children :

Change your mindset to focus on the present and you will be forever grateful for Christ and the peace that He has brought in your life. I was born to overthink. It is innate for me to focus on the past. Then use that to decide how to avoid doing it in the future. I think of the future and what I must do in the near future to avoid that future! It used to be that the feeling of living now was last felt as a kid. A long time ago I never cared too much about what I just did nor what I will do. I just played and had fun living.

Do you know why I didn’t care about the future or past actions? It was because I had parents who would take care of the consequences from past actions. I had unconditional loving parents who would forgive my stupid kid actions. They would take care of everything in the future no matter what how many mistakes I made. No wonder I was so reckless! It is exactly like our Father and everything that He is! The Bible says for us to be like children because the Kingdom of Heaven are those who are like them. Matthew 19:14. The world might call it naive, foolish, and stupid but these are the principles that we are at war with!

Higher :

There’s a reason why time goes by so fast when you’re having fun. There’s a reason why volunteering is such a gratifying experience. When we partake in those activities, we are not focused on the states of time. We are focused on something higher which can be joy, fun, charity, and many more. I ask you to focus on something higher than the world. In Jesus Christ, you’ll receive eternal rest in soul and spirit. The world is limited and it can be hard for us to believe that there is more. I am telling you that there is an entire new ceiling when we accept eternal salvation. Through that, we are stronger and more lively than we could ever be with the products of the world.

Receive the products of the Heavens and you’ll be blessed with gifts beyond the measures of material happiness. How terrified is the world when the soldiers are focused on winning the spiritual battles of now than focused on the obstacles we have no control over? This is how you live in eternity through Christ. We give the grave power over us when we have a clock running down and we fearfully focus on it. Fortunately, we have power over the grave by accepting the Savior that has conquered the grave himself!

Eternity :

We may be gone today, or we may pass tomorrow. When we pass we don’t want to know whether or not we should have lived our life with greater energy. If we pass and approach the gates knowing that you risked everything in order to preserve the Will, then surely, we will find salvation. Time is the only resource that we cannot gain back once we lose. The question is whether or not you will live every moment of your life with the Holy Spirit flowing, because only then does time have no hold on us. We will receive eternity in which time has no measure because, in eternity, time becomes infinite and heavenly eternity is a state of everlasting love with God Almighty. Everlasting meaning a state not bound by time.

Ancient Rules : Live Fully In The Present

Introduction :

Pain, sorrow, death is what defined my past. Salvation, Eternity, Everlasting is what has been guaranteed to me in the future. Peace, Love, Tranquility is what represents my present state I’m experiencing because of Jesus. I have given my past to God the Father, the sorrow and the joys. My future has been laid out and the Holy Spirit will have it happen that way. During this season of calmness, through Jesus Christ, I can live fully in the present not entrapped in the past nor controlled by the future. I am allowed freely to be happy now knowing Jesus Christ is alive and moving now. Why do you wish God to change the past when it has already happened? Who in their right mind would pray so much about the future as to stay stuck dwelling on the fears of the future and their uncertainties?

Time :

Being focused so much on the future takes away your ability to enjoy the blessings of today. It takes away the reason why Jesus Christ sacrificed himself, which is to allow us to live freely and love freely now and forever. The future will be taken care of, and the past has been received with grace. Time is one of the concepts that has controlled much of humanities pride. The way we perceive time makes it hard for many nonbelievers to justify there is a God. I assure you, our God lives beyond this time. He is this time, and the past, and the future flowing through all and being at all times. That is the beauty of God’s omnipresence. We are given an opportunity through Jesus Christ to live through Him now. To enjoy the blessings at this present state.

The Parking Ticket :

First, let me share a story about a parking ticket and then a view of time. I am a college student who takes the park and ride most of the time. I do it because it’s free but it requires a student ID. There are some days that I have forgotten my student ID. At the time I arrive at the university there are two possible solutions: To pay 9 bucks to park in the parking structure or to park for free on the curb. The risk of parking on the curb is if I overstay I may get a 25 dollar ticket for parking too long. There are three important stages of time that will be important in the understanding of my perspective of time.

Point One :

The first stage is the point where I have to make the decision to either pay 9 bucks or to park for free with the risk of being ticketed. At that point, I will either lose 9 or lose nothing. I chose to lose nothing and parked in the free parking.

The second stage is the point where I come back to the car to see if I got a parking ticket. At that point, I either know I lost 25 dollars or have lost nothing. What happened when I made the initial decision does not affect whether or not I have lost 25 dollars or have lost nothing at this point in time. I found out that I did indeed get a ticket of 25 dollars. Now I am at the point where I lost 25 dollars.

Period One :

The third stage occurs after the second stage after taking into account the first stage and the previous two times I’ve gone through this. The previous two times I parked in the free parking, I did not receive a ticket. During the second stages of those two times, I did not lose money. During the second stage of the time I got a ticket, I knew I had lost 25 dollars.

What if I didn’t get a ticket though? I would have gained nine bucks because I didn’t spend it in the parking structure. However, I only understood I lost 25 dollars or gained 9 bucks because I took into consideration what occurred with stage one. Additionally, with a three-point period, I paid 25 dollars for three parking days. Therefore, I ended up paying less if I were to have gone through the safe route and paid 9 dollars each time I forgot my ID. It would make sense that I should risk parking in the free parking right if given a time period I’d be saving money.

Now :

Time and the feelings and decisions associated with times exist because there are two points of time we consider. A single point of time at the moment you make a decision is independent of the past or the future. We do not know what will happen in the future, nor do we know what will happen given the past. That is not saying that the past does not affect the present or the future prospects will affect the present. What I am saying is the single time point is independent regardless of what happened given all other conditions are not considered.

Time, as we know it exists because we have two points to compare. If we did not have two points but had one point then time is obsolete since that point in time would be the only state that we are familiar with. Time can control people whether it be the past or present. It is the events that have happened in the past that brings perspective and can infect the present. It could also be the worries and uncertainty of the future that negatively affects the present. We must live in a constant state of mindful living in the present through Jesus. When we can do this then it makes it so we do not have to worry about the past or future because we have given dominion of it over to Christ.

Live Now :

An example is tithing. Tithes are financial offerings to the church. For many people, they are not in a financial situation that allows tithing to be easy. I am a college student and I have no money laying around! However, at the moment that I am asked to sacrifice what straps many to the world (money), I am overfilled with a willingness to give everything I have. Many people at the time of offering are of course in a similar scenario. What has caused me to not give as much as I should is not the present point of offering, but the future uncertainties. It is whether or not I will be provided with enough money to live through the week. It is when this idea creeps into my head which yields me to think, “Maybe I don’t need to offer anything this week”.

We all want to offer at that moment, but it is the insecurities of the future that hinders me. However, if I live all for that moment then it doesn’t hurt me. The future has not arrived yet and at that present moment I am still provided. My uncertainties of the future is a result of my worries about not being provided enough in the future. It does not come from not having enough at the present point.

Now, when we are focused on the sadness of the past, we are openly inviting the spirit of offense to infiltrate our present moment. How can you live in the present with love if you are openly inviting the spirit of offense? You can’t, and if you do then you are not living in love.

Context:

Being stuck in the past or worried about the future hinders our ability to feel Jesus Christ now. When we are so focused on whether or not we will be secured in the future, we are ignoring God’s promise to fulfill us with all of our needs in order to fulfill our spiritual desires. Matthew 6:34. The past and the future must be associated directly with the works of Jesus Christ. Testimonies from your past in context of Jesus expects for Him to do it again in the people you are ministering to. Assurance of the future in context of Jesus expects him to provide always so that you may live fully in the Present Moment. The “free parking” is the salvation and eternal life Jesus is. It is not an easy decision and you will be judge and prosecuted. It is not the safe way out. You pay a great deal by taking the safe way out by not proclaiming Jesus. You might think it will be safer at that moment, but in the end you will be hurt. Salvation is the riskiest decision you can make and many have died for it and many more will die to spread Him. However when you do, then you’ll have made a choice that is beyond time. You’ll have made a choice which will earn you eternal salvation due to your faithfulness in Jesus Christ. Live now and prosper through Jesus.