Archive for the 'College Graduation' Category

David Yen

by David Yen

Looking back on my college years, it’s incredible how fast the time flew by. It seems like only yesterday when I stepped onto the UCSD campus. Growing up in church, my belief in God had always been strong. I grew up learning about His goodness, His grace, and His everlasting lovingkindness. Coming to college was not a good time for me though. I lost sight of these truths. I was much more concerned with the bitter taste that continually lingered in my mouth from my previous life, I was depressed and could not see how this good God let such a “faithful” servant suffer.

Bumming around from church to church, occasionally visiting various fellowships, this was the extent of my fellowship freshman year. I don’t even really know why I kept going; perhaps force of habit. This went on for a couple of months until, one day God rescued me, and I don’t know exactly how. It could have been through the love I was received from fellow believers; the teaching on justification in the fellowship I was attending; or maybe the conclusions I came to regarding Calvinism. All I really know is that I wasn’t taking my Christian faith seriously, but one day God just rescued me. My spirit was suddenly set free and my faith solidified as my life started to change. The only explanation I have comes from 2 Corinthians 4: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” It was a miracle. I don’t claim to know whether I was saved at that point. I can only tell of these events that have happened in my life and give God all of the credit. I know I did nothing. To share my college testimony, I need to begin with that. It really gives a framework to my faith in God. To take any credit myself would be a great injustice to God’s miraculous work in my life. Maybe it was necessary for me to go through the depression to arrive at the point where I am now.

Having said that, I think college is a very unique time for a Christian. For many, it is the first time they are on their own. The saying is true that what you invest your time in, shows what you really care about. College is a time where we have much freedom. If you want to get really good grades, you can invest all of your time into that and accomplish it. If you want to have a lot of fun, you can invest all your time in entertainment. These things are not bad things in it of themselves, but the most crucial thing I have learned in college that helped me the most in my faith is to invest in the right things. Invest in things that will last. Invest in people that further God’s kingdom. Invest your time in the Word so that your mind may be transformed. Time is valuable, and so often we use time in such a way that is not beneficial. I feel in college I have developed habits (good and bad ones) that will probably be with me for the rest of my life, for some things I honestly wish that I had put in more effort keeping myself in check.

Being at LBC has been a tremendous blessing; God has truly blessed our church with many wonderful people. The church family is a great place to hear solid biblical teaching and valuable advice. There are many older people who are much more mature and much godlier than I. These people are a great resource for guidance and growth. It’s just a good idea to use what has been given to us. I know I have been blessed through many people in the church. I hate to end so abruptly, but since this is nearing the end, I pray that this article will be both encouraging and helpful. College has been a wonderful opportunity for me. I hope it will be for all of the collegians we have at LBC as well!

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Coleman Ho

by Coleman Ho

I’m so thankful for our loving God, who cared so much to send His Son to save a sinner like me. I grew up in a Buddhist home. I first heard of Christ my sophomore year when someone from a campus ministry evangelized to me through a booklet. It was then that I learned about the existence of God, and how I was living a selfcentered life with myself seated on the King’s throne, not God. The booklet also pointed out the importance of attending a local church. So I asked my friend to take me to church and she brought me to Lighthouse.

I vividly remember my first church service at Lighthouse. I was amazed how everyone around me sang aloud and rejoiced. It made me curious of who this God was, and what made Him so amazing that people would sing praises to Him. Pastor John gave a message that day regarding sin. Every word he spoke felt like daggers piercing my heart. God convicted me that day as He revealed how hideous my sins were. At the end of the sermon, Pastor John explained how a life without Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is a meaningless life. If there were any non-Christians present, they needed to repent of their sins to our holy and righteous God. Soon after, I got plugged into Flocks and LBCBA. It was an encouraging time where everyone helped ease my transition to church. I eventually repented, became saved and was baptized three weeks later.

God has taught me so much during my time here at Lighthouse. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned was to place all my faith in Him alone. God has provided for me in many instances throughout my college years. The year I was saved, I planned to study abroad in China for the summer. My biggest fear was not knowing if they even had churches in China. But God, in His sovereign plan, led me to find an international church that helped me to continue to grow in the Word. This really opened up my eyes to the omnipresence of God, how He would be with me no matter where I went. I recall another instance where I was struggling financially, to the point where I wasn’t sure if I would afford rent. I prayed and sought the help of God. The following week, I received an email from UCSD offering me a scholarship, worth enough to cover the expenses for the rest of that year. The amazing part was that I never even applied for the scholarship.

I’m so happy that God led me to San Diego. I had my plans set to go to UCI, but my brother convinced me to go to UCSD at the last minute.

I’m still uncertain on where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing after graduation, as I’m currently waiting for responses from schools for postbaccalaureate programs. But regardless of what happens in the future, I don’t have to be anxious because I can count on Christ to lead me.

Favorite place in SD: Tea n More
Memory that stands out the most: I was at College Retreat 06 and we went to Pine Valley during wintertime. It was my first time there and I didn’t bring a sleeping bag or any blankets, thinking it couldn’t be that cold. Little did I know, it was incredibly cold that night, but I tried to suck it up like a man and not complain. That night, I remember waking up every 10 minutes for the next 6 hours because my hands and feet literally froze! I got about 2 hrs of sleep that night and tried hard to stay awake for all the messages.
Advice for collegians: Please continue to evangelize to your unbelieving friends, family, classmates, coworkers, and strangers. Never give up hope and just trust in God to change people’s hearts. I’m so thankful to that person who didn’t fear man, and had to courage to come evangelize to me, or else I may have never been saved!

Cindy Tsau

by Cindy Tsau

Reflecting upon the past 4 years is an amazing testimony of God’s great and sovereign work in my life. Coming into college I was a very young Christian, saved during the end of high school. I recognized my sin and that I had been graciously given a perfect Savior who gives eternal life—but I did not know how to live in light of that. My freshman year was a prime example of this. Not being firmly grounded in the Word of God, I did not see the importance of fellowship, accountability, or even church. I joined a CCM small group, and through that, I was brought to Lighthouse Bible Church. While God was sovereign in placing me in a small group that sought to teach the disciplines of faith, and a church that sought to preach God’s truth, I was blinded so much by my own sins. I was comfortable; I already had friends, so why do I need to surround myself with Christians all the time? In a sense, I lived out my Christian life, merely by a checklist. Once my weekly list of “holy” things to do was marked, I was done. I saw my faith as something added on to me, when I really needed to see it as something that defined me.

God is so good though. He gave me a heart that desired to share His Gospel. I felt that time was more worthwhile spent building up relationships with people who did not know Christ. I constantly talked to my roommates about God. For one of their birthdays, I gave them a Bible, and I told them that they should read it sometime. during my freshman year, I learned the value of personal disciplines—spending time in God’s Word or in prayer.

Sophomore year, I learned the importance of fellowship and accountability. God revealed this to me through my high school friends. They always seemed to know the right things to say and the right things to do, but one day, my phone call ended with one of them telling me they were going to “take a break from God.” All I could think was what do you mean take a break? Soon after, I started doubting my own salvation, What if I’m just so good that I’m convincing myself of a lie? I needed accountability. Yes, my walk with God is between God and me, but how do I practice my knowledge and faith in God, if I don’t see that He’s placed people in my life to grow and challenge me? I was defiant and hostile towards fellowship because I thought if I am saved by faith alone, why do I need to do all this extra stuff? But did I value God’s Word? When God says in Hebrews 10:25 to not forsake the assembling together, did I take it seriously? If I love God so much, why am I not willing to make a public declaration? Why do I hesitate to share my testimony? Why do I not desire to be baptized? I realized that all of this was because I did not fear God, and I was justifying my sins so that I could stay in my comfort zone. It was my sophomore year that I became a member at Lighthouse and was baptized.

Junior and senior year, I learned (and am still learning) to trust in God’s good and perfect will. So many things in this world are distractions, whether it be school, career choice, relationships, or even ministry – and the reason I say this is because the moment that we lose focus on Christ, these blessings and challenges in life that He’s given lose their meaning and purpose. While I still don’t do any of these things perfectly, I can take comfort in a God that I can trust to grow and stretch me to be more like Him (James 1:3-4).

Favorite place in SD: Downtown San Diego. I love walking down the streets whether it be in Little Italy, Seaport Village, or the convention center.
Favorite Verse: Genesis 1 – Reveltation 22. I don’t have a favorite, but this is one that I like a lot: Philippians 1:27-30.
Memory that stands out the most: Late night talks about Christianity with my roommate Kira; getting baptized; campus EV; sleepovers; Mexian churros; LBC football.
Advice for collegians: Ask yourselves constantly whether or not you are doing it all for the glory of God.

Chris Katsura

by Chris Katsura

It is amazing graduation has come upon us. It feels like a moment ago we were entering orientation. The past four years have been enjoyable and God has brought many wonderful people into my life. Entering college I was uncertain where I would be, what I would be doing, who I would be associating with, and even what church I would be attending. Sovereignly, He brought me out to Crossroads Campus Ministry where I met some people attending Lighthouse. I came one Sunday and was bombarded by the sermon. But the challenge kept making me come back. I attended Omega Flock, which was very small flock. But the size allowed me to meet singles, married, and the other collegians on a very personal level. It was one of the ministries I am most thankful for at Lighthouse. Getting to talk to older people and seeing what they went through taught me much wisdom. Being able to see how we should be living and acting as we get older was a great blessing. At the same time another thing I appreciated about Lighthouse is their devotion to preaching the bible.

The first memorable event of college was while I was out surfing at La Jolla shores. The sun was setting and everyone paddled out past the surf, sitting on their boards, watching the sunset. The sky turned from fire red, to orange, to a mixture of colors. At that moment, a pack of dolphins, 25-feet away, surfaced and swam nearby. That was one of my most peaceful moments of San Diego. Another memorable experience in San Diego was going out to Hillcrest and talking to the homeless people about the gospel. It was very real, talking to people who have gone through so much, and willing to listen and talk. I am sure there will be many more experiences to come as I will be staying in San Diego for the time being.

My favorite verse is Isaiah 53. It makes your really think about what Christ did on the cross. How we rejected and despised him. How God pierced Him for our iniquities, and the sins that He bore upon the cross. My favorite place in San Diego is Mt. Soledad. You can stand up there and look out upon such the beautiful city and ocean. It’s very relaxing. Taking a book up there to read makes the world stand still. I think a song that would define this era for me would be “If You Want Me To” by Ginny Owens—a song about the trust we should have in God and the great plan He has for our lives. Though at times we may be unsure of where we are going, God knows and we must trust him.

I would like to end with a word of encouragement for those in college. Take the time now to develop those important habits—habits that will strengthen your walk with God; habits of prayer; and meditation upon, reading, and proclaiming the word, to name a few. The habits you have now will be reinforced over the years. They will be much harder to change as you get older. If you say you don’t have time now and don’t cultivate good habits, it will be the same when you get older. You will say it is too late to develop these, that you have been stuck in your wandering ways for too long. Men, you need to be characterized by being men of prayer, of the word, and of faith. Looking towards the job that awaits you in the future, remember it is not the end. It should only be a stepping stone for the ministry of God. This is why you should count the cost wisely of what you sacrifice now to do certain things. Do you study so much that you sacrifice fellowship and ministry within the church? Your outlook and investment should be on eternal things and not material ones. And trust in the Lord for He has a great plan for you; far greater than anything you can imagine.

Cathie Kim

by Cathie Kim

When I was a graduating senior in high school, I dreaded the thought of going to college, because I loved all the things I had at home: my family, friends, church. My freshman year alone was enough to humble me and show me that God always works for my best interest and for His greater glory. These past four years of college have been some of the sweetest years of my life, as I’ve grown out of a shallow understanding of God and His Word to see what it means to truly love Him and strive to honor Him in all things. Having been raised in a charismatic church, I initially struggled with the differences I saw at Lighthouse. I failed to see the importance of good doctrine, failed to see that loving God meant obeying Him in all things, and was so accustomed to letting my spiritual health be determined by how I felt. It took one summer at home to make me see how poor doctrine can and does infiltrate the hearts of men, causing them to take sin lightly and live life loosely. I realized that this kind of attitude toward God and life couldn’t be honoring to Him, no matter how sincere they might be. It was humbling to recognize that the foundation of my faith was very weak, and these past four years have been a continual tearing down of wrong beliefs and building up of right ones.

I thank God for bringing me to Lighthouse and keeping me here despite my doubts and rebellious heart. I am not only for the ministry of His Word, but also for the many examples I have had of men and women who genuinely love God and people. I’m particularly thankful for the older sisters who have invested in me throughout the past four years—women who have devoted time, prayer and love, that I might grow to imitate Christ and submit to His Lordship. When I look back on these past years, these women come to mind as tangible instruments of God in my sanctification.

It has always been during the most trying times that God has taught me the most. For all the times I prayed for growth in faith, love, and humility, I was discouraged to find that in times of trial, these were the very things I lacked. But I’ve come to see that this is His way of answering my prayers; He uses these trials for my gain that I might be set free from self and pride and seek my all in Him. It has been humbling to see how weak my faith is, how self-centered I am, and how much I am dictated by my feelings and circumstances, but I am all the more thankful that God is faithfully revealing these things to me, that I might grow up under His discipline to yield the “peaceful fruit of righteousness”. This is evidence of His love for me and the active work of the Holy Spirit in my life, and in these things I find hope and joy.

I look forward to His work in my life, pruning the things that don’t please Him and continuing to nurture the things that do. I look forward to joining the singles group and developing more relationships with sisters, through which we can build each other up. I know that a new stage of life will bring with it a new set of struggles and temptations, but I hope that I will persevere with a single-minded focus and whole-hearted conviction for the things of the Lord.

Favorite place in SD: I don’t think this is my favorite place in all of San Diego, but Croutons has definitely been the place of many good and encouraging talks. :]
What song will define this era for you: “You Are Good” by Nichole Nordeman
Favorite verse: Philippians 3:7-8
Memory of college stands out the most: There was one time during our junior year when our apartment-mates went home for the weekend. So Cindy and I raided their closets, jumped on their beds, and had an impromptu photo shoot.
Advice for collegians: Be humble, be teachable, and set a pattern in your lives of loving and serving God and people, always persevering in your pursuit of holiness and faithfulness, by the power of the Spirit within you.

Cindy Su

by Cindy Su

Before coming into college, I had only a small glimpse of what it means to be a follower of Christ. Although I grew up at church and was saved during the end of high school, I had a very limited understanding of the full extent of offering up the entirety of your life to Christ. By God’s sovereignty, He led me to be a part of CCM small groups with Grace Lee as my leader. Grace encouraged all of us in the group to be actively seeking for a church to settle in and after the first visits to Lighthouse, I was pretty certain that I wanted to stay. The preaching by Pastor John and Pastor Pat and the atmosphere of a church body with older men and women and younger children lead me to believe that this is a church committed to teaching the truth and committed to church unity. For these reasons, I became certain that I wanted to stay to grow in my knowledge and understanding of the scripture and to be able to apply those truths to the church body.

I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness and grace to me throughout the past four years in growing and challenging me to live a life that is pleasing and honoring before Him by first learning who He is and how we are to respond with that knowledge. Time and time again God has shown me that as the created one, I owe everything–my existence, my dependence, and my devotion–to Him, the Creator. And if other desires seek to rule my heart instead, I would be ignorant of the sovereign, loving Father who knows all of me and fills my heart with a greater purpose in submission for His glory. More recently, through small group, I’ve been challenged to strive for a heart of humility in that it is not just an attitude I have in front of God, but the spirit of my daily life and interactions with others. Humility comes forth in the most common and unguarded moments; in the seemingly insignificant acts that prove its authenticity that my humility before God is genuine. This means to be actively practicing and living out the one another’s mentioned throughout the teachings of Paul: “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love” (Romans 12:10); “through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13); “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). Through these verses, I’ve been challenged to bring a heart of humility and lowliness of mind before others and see that it is a privilege to be serving God and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

As college comes to an end, it is but another opportunity to fully place my trust in the sovereignty of God amidst the uncertainties of what’s to come and the realities of the world outside of LBC and San Diego. I am so thankful for His sovereignty in placing me here at LBC with solid teaching and amongst people who really seek hard after God and His glory.

Favorite place in SD: Home. I spend a lot of time there
What song will define this era for you: Nothing Without You by Bebo Norman
Favorite verse: Colossians 3:12-14
Memory that stands out the most: Resolved 2007. Learning, eating, and standing in line :]
Advice for collegians: Get involved at church – with the church body and with the different ministries to use your skills and talents for His purposes.

Jennifer Park

by Jennifer Park

These past four years of college have definitely been such a blessing from God. Looking back I can see the faithfulness and the sovereignty of God. It is amazing to see how God has placed so many people in my life who have helped me grow and continue to encourage me in so many different ways.

College was a totally new experience from me. It was the first time I was away from my parents (for an extensive period of time) and I didn’t know how to handle the “freedom” that came with it. In fact, I think I hated the responsibility that came with being a college student. I knew I had to find a church to attend but my shy personality kept me from going out and actively finding a good church. I would try to go home as often as possible and on the Sundays, that I couldn’t go home, I would go to a church that myhome church pastor recommended. But the problem was that I wasn’t growing and I wasn’t seeking to grow either. I obviously did not have my priorities straight. I feared man more than I feared God.

God, knowing my shy character, planted people in my life who have led me to Lighthouse and ultimately to Him. To a non-believer it might seem as if it was pure coincidence that I randomly met a girl in my Japanese discussion class who also just happened to go to CCM. But to me it really was the work of God that on that particular day that the two of us would be paired with each other. She eventually invited me out to CCM and on that night I somehow was able to join small group where I met girls who truly loved God and desired to honor Him. I don’t even know how and why I decided to stay at Lighthouse. But I am so glad that God brought me here and I have grown so much over the few years that I was able to stay at Lighthouse. I don’t think I can write all of what I have learned over the years but I feel like the reoccurring theme of my four years in college is learning to put all of my trust in God. Even when I was shaken to the core, God held me close. He taught me the importance of placing my trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6) and not to rely on myself or other people.

God has changed me slowly but surely and has shown me so much over the past few years. And when I fail, often, He shows me so much love and mercy. He never fails to encourage me and teach me, whether it may be through verses in the Bible that reassure me of His unchanging character or through fellowshipping with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I thank you all for your continual encouragement, prayer, continual accountability and especially setting great examples of what it is to be good sisters in Christ. I want to thank all those who have shown me patience and have shown me so much love! I truly thank God for leading me here to Lighthouse! All praise and glory be to Him!

Favorite place in SD: Anywhere where I can fellowship with fellow sisters and brothers in Christ!
Favorite Verse: Romans 8:38-39
Advice for collegians: As a student, to remember that even their studies should be for the glory of God but to never let studying be an excuse for keeping yourself from growing in Christ. Christ should be first and foremost in your life!


About

The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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