Interviews from the Class of 2018 – Amy Lee

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As part of their senior gift to GOC, the Class of 2018 collected alumni-interviews to edify GOC. 

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My Golden Calf

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Idolatry. Wait.. like statues? You mean like those golden calves that the Israelites worshipped? Nope, that’s not me. I don’t have idols. Wait… but I do, I have idols. You have idols. And I don’t just have one idol, but so many. In fact, our hearts are idol factories.

But, what is an idol exactly? It is anything that captures my thoughts, emotions, affections more than God does. It steals from the full glory of God and the worship He deserves. Examples of idols can range from academics, food, friends, family, careers, approval of others, anxiety, or sports. In fact, many of these were originally created to be good things for us to enjoy, but as sinners we are capable of distorting anything so that it replaces God in our hearts.

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Honoring Our Self-Sufficient God

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According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we have physiological needs (e.g. food, water, air), safety needs (e.g. financial security, health), a need for love and belonging (e.g. friends, family), a need for esteem (e.g. respect, recognition), and a need for self-actualization (e.g. achieving desires). While we may not agree with all of Maslow’s theory, one thing is clear: we are extremely needy, perhaps more than we would like to admit.

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Testimony of the Week – Daniella Ching

Daniella is a third year PhySci major who loves ice cream, boba, cows, cheesy movies, and anything Disney related, but who is extremely indecisive otherwise!

Growing up in a Christian family and attending church every Sunday, as well as attending a Christian school all my life until I came to UCLA. I was constantly surrounded by people who loved Christ and made it a point to share the gospel with me. Because of that, I grew up believing that God was real and that Jesus came and died for my sins. But if I had to pinpoint when I became a Christian, it would be when I was in third grade. At that time, my teacher asked me if I remembered how or when I became a Christian since I claimed I already was. Realizing that I had no memory of accepting Christ as my Savior, I was scared and went home and told my mom. She asked me if I did believe in God and if I believed that I was a sinner saved through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for me, and I said yes. Since this is when I actually distinctly remember confessing what I believed, I consider this to be the point when I became a Christian. But though I believed, my understanding of the gospel was still shallow and part of my reason for wanting to be a Christian was to go to heaven and for social reasons. However, through His grace, I slowly began to understand more in middle and high school about what I professed, and how these truths impacted my life personally. The fact that I am a sinner makes me an enemy of God (for someone who was generally regarded as a good kid, that hit me so hard). But God, who is so rich in mercy and abounding in love, pursued me even while I was hostile through sending Jesus Christ to die for my sins. Christ suffered to become sin on my behalf so that I may have a righteousness that I do not deserve (2 Corinthians 5:21). And praise God that “if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10). I, and anyone else who believes, am not only forgiven and no longer an enemy of God, but adopted into His family as His child. Continue reading “Testimony of the Week – Daniella Ching”

Lessons Learned from Working with the Urban Youth

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A student telling me that it just doesn’t matter anymore because he’s going back to jail. A boy shaking on the floor overdosed. Another boy sitting in my office drunk. A girl revealing that she had been abused by a close family member. Another girl coming to school with new clothes, and new bruised marks. A student requesting to go to the local clinic during school hours. Students struggling with gender identity. Students staying at shelters, garages, motels, and group homes. Students living with no more hope and attempting to take their own lives. Students ready at any moment to fight and hurt each other – guy on guy, girl on girl, girl on guy, 10 on 7, and sometimes even to the point of getting stabbed or shot at.

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Work Heartily as to The Lord

GOC_work_for_the_lordWritten by Elkana Chan

We spend a lot of our time on this earth working; I feel easily preoccupied by it and spend a lot of time thinking about it too. It seems that there is constantly more to do. I often fear, and sometimes even despair, How am I going to do all the things I have to do? And how can I work for the Lord, when I’m not even sure I can finish all that is placed before me? Honoring God in my work feels elusive and I struggle to work heartily for the Lord.

Yet God has shown us the gospel of grace that pervades all aspects of life, including work; I hope that in repeating these truths that He continues to teach me and apply to my heart may likewise encourage you and direct you to worship Him.

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Testimony of the Week – Jeremy Tran

IMG_1316Jeremy is a second year statistics major who enjoys reading, napping, playing guitar, wearing sweaters with polos, and trying to understand cultural references.

Before I was saved, I was stuck in a life of pride and selfishness. Even though I grew up in the church and was praised as a good kid who said the best prayers, I did not truly understand the weight of my sin or my need for a savior. Instead, I placed my pride in being spiritually and intellectually superior to my peers, so I had little love for God and for others. At home, where there were no friends to see me, I rebelled against my parents and pursued pleasure above all else. I vainly sought satisfaction in video games, social status, and lusting. But evening in finding their failure to bring me true joy, I still did not want to commit everything to Christ. I “knew” God but did not honor Him as Lord.

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Christmas Graphics for Download (2016-2017) and Christmas Spotify Playlists

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Hi everyone! We have another round of Christmas graphics this year for phone screens, Facebook cover photos, and desktop wallpapers. We hope that these will be uplifting and a good reminder of why we celebrate this season. 

View and download them here!

Also, be sure to check out our Christmas playlists on Spotify here!

Merry Christmas!

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The Danger of Doing Theology Without Your Bible

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written by Justin McKitterick

My son just started playing baseball. As someone who enjoys baseball and helps coach, going to practices and games has become a fun weekly ritual for our family. Each time we get ready to go to the field to play we have a little mental checklist. Cleats? Check. Ball? Check. Glove? Check. Bat? Check. It is hard to play baseball if you do not have a glove, a bat, and a ball. In fact, if you take away the equipment, you might end up on a baseball field, but you are not playing baseball. You can run around on the field, make up other games to play on the field, you can even run the bases, but you are not really playing baseball. At best, you are playing a game that has some baseball-like components. More accurately, what you are doing is not baseball at all.

Sadly, I think this illustration can be applied to how many are approaching theology today.

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