Entries by Raphael Zhang

5 Ways My Non-Christian Dad Showed Me Who God Is

I did not have the best relationship with my father when I was growing up.

Like most Chinese fathers of his generation, my dad provided financially for the family and brought us on outings and holiday trips. However, I did not find him to be very emotionally present or expressive. In my head, I knew he must love me, but in my heart, I did not feel that he delighted over me or enjoyed my company.

Reimagining Church Amidst Covid-19—and Beyond

All over the world, mass gatherings have been suspended, and churches are no longer conducting physical congregational worship services, but are reimagining different ways of gathering.

All these changes have made me ponder what exactly church is. What if God, through the present crisis, is asking us to rethink how we do church, so as to rediscover His intentions for it?

How God Changed the Way I Speak About My Daughter

“You’ve become a father.”

I was going about my day when I seemed to hear a still, small voice say this to me. I wondered if it was God. This happened two months after my wife and I had gotten married. But since I wasn’t sure if that whisper was Him speaking to me, I pondered it in my heart.

Does God Really Care About Me?

“If it matters to you, it matters to God,” read my friend’s fridge magnet. I thought it was a lovely sentiment when I first read these words at my friend’s place several years ago.

8 Ways to Build a Friendship with God

I love relating to God as Father, and I worship Him as King; I want to obey Jesus, my Lord and Savior; and I desire to listen to the Holy Spirit as a Counsellor and Teacher to me.

How to Fall and Fail Better

In my time writing for YMI, I’ve shared my reflections on my struggles with perfectionism, alcohol, and masturbation, among others. As this year comes to an end, I wanted to be able to proclaim that I have found complete victory over these struggles.

The Time I Attempted Suicide

Pills and broken glass, tears and blood, fear and despair. It was one of the darkest nights of my life. I didn’t want to do it yet I couldn’t see how to face the next day. The pain of ending everything there and then seemed lesser compared to the pain of going on.

Is Masturbation Your Master?

“The M word.” “MacDonald’s.” These are some of the words I’ve heard people use to refer to the act of sexual self-stimulation, otherwise known as masturbation. My earliest memory of it was when I was around five or six years old.