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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Childlike Faith

Everyone should learn from Matt's kids!

I think that's really hilarious, but all the more funny because I can totally see Zoey and Allie have that type of conversation on a regular basis. Since we have the time, let's take a trip down memory lane to my top three Zoey and memories:
  1. I love it how when I play ball with Zoey and Allie, it would always end up hitting them in the head no matter where I throw it, then they would just laugh really hard and toss it back to me, this would go on for hours!
  2. One time I took A & Z out to an indoor playground when I was in East Asia, and as I was walking down the street with the stroller, billions of people would gather around me asking me how I have such cute twins. Firstly, one kid is 3 and the other is 1, they obviously are NOT twins. Secondly, Z & A and I have no resemblance whatsoever, they are obviously not my kids! But of course, EA people never listen what you tell them, so I eventually just started nodding when people say what cute kids I had.
  3. Allie loves to feed me anything and everything she has her hands on. I must've eaten more cheerios or mac&cheese from the floor when I'm with her than I've eaten in my life. Honestly, you really can't refuse anything kids try to feed you.
On a more serious note, don't you think we all should have faith like a child? It's so easy to think that we have faith that can move mountains, but in reality, we have such little faith. We turn away from God for the simple reason that we do not fully believe in His promises to us. We turn to find our sense of self worth in money, success, popularity, women ... just so we can appease our inner urge for acceptance from others.

I wish I have enough faith to believe that God can bring my pony back to life when I pray!

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

I miss my bike!

I am here to announce that I am officially poor. If you are expecting a nice Christmas present from me, you might have to lower your expectations.

As I was returning from the dinner with some old friends last night, I noticed that my temperature gauge was fluctuating near HIGH consistently. Fearing that the engine might catch fire and kill me, I resorted to driving very conservatively and luckily made my way home safely. It turned out that my car's head gasket cracked and all my coolant was leaking into the engine and proceeded to spew out blue smoke out of my exhaust. To make a long story short, I am down $1100 trying to fix this aging Toyota Camry. I don't think it's worth the money to fix it either for a car with 190k miles on it, but I really have no choice as I cannot live or go to work without a mode of transportation. So basically, it'll be rice and beans for me for the rest of the year. If I feel like splurging, I'll go buy some string beans or asparagus, and on Christmas, I might even go for a can of spam.

In the meantime, my parents are goading me to buy a new car soon. Hmm, just how much do I really want to spend on a car? That's why I really miss my giant bike. If the brake isn't working or if my spokes are coming loose, I'll just run to the local bike guy and get it fixed for $2. Isn't life just so much better that way? Forget flying cars, let's just all ride rocket propelled bicycles!

It's always great to be Poor in life ... but Rich in love ...

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Out of touch ...

Black Friday was a rude awakening for me. I am starting to realize that I am out of the touch with the world. I can't stop but wonder ... just how detached am I from this American culture? Have I been away for that long?

YES America, the latest and biggest news this Thanksgiving weekend is that Jessica Simpon and Nick Lachey are officially parting ways after three years of marriage! After months of dodging breakup rumors, the quintessential American couple finally admitted that their romantic passionate days are but a shadow of the past. What many would feel as a tragedy of monumental proportions seemed almost pathetically obvious to me. I don't even understand why this is such a big deal. Frankly, it's just another Hollywood couple breaking up because they can't work out their differences, what else is new? However, I must admit that it's quite interesting to know that Jessica Simpson claims that she is a devout Christian, and that her father, an ex-pastor turned manager, allegedly pushes Jessica to look "sexier" on her music videos and photo shoots. It all seems a bit ironic to me. For those die-hard Jessica Simpson fans out there, I should remind you that she has a book out titled "Jessica Simpson I Do: Achieving Your Dream Wedding." Feel free to grab yourself a copy for the holiday season. Please note that the book helps you achieve your dream wedding, not your dream marriage. Consider yourself warned. For some real ground breaking news, click here.

On a related note, I was thoroughly shocked and disgusted when I went the mall yesterday. Not because of the insane traffic jams or the frustrating time trying to find parking, but because of Abercrombie & Fitch (reluctantly linked to prove a point). I wonder if I am the only person appalled to see topless male models posing in front of the store to attract hormonal teenage to the store. Yes, there were actually topless guys posing in front of the store and taking pictures with girls hanging on to them. If you are one of those people who think I only have an issue with this because there weren't scantily dressed female models along side their male counterparts, you are dead wrong. And no, I am in no way jealous or feel insecure about my own body or wish that I would be posing in front of the store, I simply found it extremely disconcerting that companies have to resort to this type of brand promotion. How much more obvious can it be that A&F is trying to sell their brand with SEX ... and only SEX. Perhaps I am over-reacting, but this is just a bit too much for me.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

If a picture speaks a thousand words ...

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Bubbles & Cheap Laptops

Wow! Kids are sure getting spoiled these days. First we invent all these high tech video game systems that cost you an arm and a leg, now they have invented COLORED BUBBLES!!! This guy was so obsessed with making color bubbles that he spent 11 years trying to figure out how to do it. Talk about dedication ... or maybe he just wasn't very bright. But in any case, all the more credit to him. Now ... let's see how I can save enough money to get my very own PS3.

This is about a week old, but some kind hearted folks at MIT have invented the world's first $100 laptop. The mission behind it is the following:

The MIT Media Lab has launched a new research initiative to develop a $100 laptop—a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world's children. To achieve this goal, a new, non-profit association, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), has been created. The initiative was first announced by Nicholas Negroponte, Lab chairman and co-founder, at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland in January 2005.

So basically, laptops for all the kids in third world countries. A grand idea, huh? If you didn't noticed, you can see all the happy poor kids on the laptops monitor. And don't forget that big yellow hand crank on the right, one minute of cranking = ten minutes of power time. Just think about how much more healthy kids around the world will get when they have to take breaks between playing their video games.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

What do you fear?

"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." - FDR

We are all driven by fear to some degree: the fear or rejection, of being alone, of not being accepted, of being unsuccessful ... etc. It can be such an overbearing dominance in our lives that it make me wonder what kind of fears are dictating my way of life. Ideally, we ought to be freed from these fears. Having put our faith in God, we ought to fear nothing, because He is with us always. Ironically, I find that I am becoming increasingly afriad of myself.

When I look deep inside my heart, I know the wickedness I am capable of, the many sins I could commit, the ways I can manipulate others around me. The depravity of my heart has become more evident to me through my two years overseas, and now as I reenter into this American culture, I can't help but wonder how long I can survive here without being thoroughly corrupted by this world. Frankly, it's too easy to turn your back on your faith, even if you know first hand the faithfulness and goodness of God. Our hearts are prone to wander, prone to reject the very thing that gave us a new life.

I share the apostle Paul's thoughts here in Roman 7

"14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

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One thing I have yet to fully master is the skill of resting. I call it a skill because I believe that resting is more than hours of dreamy slumber, but an overall restoration of your body, mind, and soul. Today's society drives us to be more and more busy with various things in life, whether it be work or social engagements, more often than not they drain our mind & body to the point of collapse.

Today I woke up with a strange sense of restlessness. It's the last day of the weekend and I have so many things that I could and want to do, but deep inside I know that I needed to rest. I need some alone time when I can just sit and think, to reflect and ponder on the deeper things in life. Perhaps even have a friend over to pass the time over a cup of good coffee, making conversation but not feeling compelled to do anything like watching a movie or going out. Simply taking a timeout from the busyness of our lives, not to add on to it by doing more and more things.

Rest ...

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

In the beginning ...

Today might just be a special day ... remember it well.

For years I have disdained the idea of posting my thoughts on the web for various reasons. At the core of it, I felt that blogging takes away from genuine relationships. So many people painstakingly blog their lives down to every minute detail, secretly hoping that out there somewhere, someone is listening to them. Perhaps they do this to satisfy a deep social yearning, a need that certainly cannot be satisfied in this modern form of communication.

Other times I feel like most of what I want to share with people are so personal, not to be read on the web. And honestly, there are so many crazy thoughts in my mind all the time that I wouldn't want people to sift through them anyway.

However, I do concede that a blog has its useful purposes. And that is why I am starting my very own today, much inspired after reading my friend Matt's blog for some reason.

Again I say ... remember today well, it just might be a special day.

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