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A LONG POST

I hope you like to read because this entry is LONG!

So I’m contemplating how to properly write this post because there are several things I want to write about. And since my Internet connection is still not set up at work and I have limited work that I CAN do in the month of January in France, I’m going to carefully reflect upon my thoughts and try to put together a decently thorough entry. It may be sufficiently long to distract you from working (procrastination ftw?) teehee 😀

1 – Epiphanies in the last week

I’m actually in disbelief that it’s been almost a month since I kidnapped PhD to Belgium, haha! Sorry, you KNEW I just had to mention him, didn’t you? It’s funny to think that a month ago I would never have imagined that things turned out the way they are now, and it’s amazing how God worked within all of our hearts during this period of time. All stories aside, I just wanted to reflect upon the thing that I told you the other day, how I think my first lesson of 2012 is forgiveness.

It began in the café and continued in the cathedral that afternoon, when I was trying so hard to pray and to put down everything that had been bothering me. And then it hit me. It just hit me. Words from the Bible seemed to come to life. God was talking to me, and the following verses really struck me hard.

那時彼得進來,對耶穌說,主啊,我弟兄得罪我,我當饒恕他幾次呢。到七次可以麼。耶穌說,我對你說,不是到七次,乃是到七十七次。– 馬太福音 18:21-22

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” — Matthews 18:21-22

你們不要論斷人,免得你們被論斷。因為你們怎樣論斷人,也必怎樣被論斷。– 馬太福音 7:1-2

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.” — Matthews 7:1-2

You know how in the song “Affirmation” by Savage Garden, they say “I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness”? I used to think that I am a person who is very willing to forgive and that I can let go of personal offenses very easily. Well apparently not, when the hurt reaches deep within and punches you straight through your core. After receiving that text message, I was so shocked, so unbelievably defeated. And it was a double strike after I found out what could have provoked the message. I felt like I’ve lost two of the people I treasured the most. I felt like I could never trust anyone again. I felt like it would make me feel so much better if I never forgave them.

I saw a painting of Jesus on the cross, in the cathedral, and all of a sudden it all became clear to me. Forgiveness. That’s all God HAD been doing for us, forgiving, and He wants us to do the same. It’s even in the Lord’s prayer: “Forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors.” And to think how heavy OUR sins are, that we have the privilege to ask God for HIS forgiveness! It’s not just a matter of being forgiven, but the mere fact that Jesus DIED on the cross for us SO THAT we can receive this forgiveness. Unconditional forgiveness. God promised that if we open up to Him, admit our sins, and repent, then any sin will be forgiven. How, then, can I even have the shameless audacity to dare to NOT forgive anyone who has offended me, when I myself have received such a grace that I don’t deserve? It makes the mere thought of holding a grudge against anyone for any reason seem childish and arrogant.

Then in that one moment, those negative thoughts were set free. No longer was forgiveness a mission impossible – it was as if a boulder on my back had been released or a curse had been lifted, simple as that. And all glory goes to God because there was no way I could have done this on my own without the magnificent love of God.

I am also thankful that PhD made that phone call that night that set things straight…sort of. I had feared that the friendship had broken beyond the point of repair, and I was already willing to let it go. Seeing the way PhD handled the entire situation, I did not expect him to be the first to call, especially after what he sent me. To me, though, it meant that he still cherished the friendship, he still had 誠意, and it touched me greatly. Now, if this was BEFORE the grand epiphanies, I probably would have reacted much more differently, but all I could think of during that conversation was how thankful I was to God, and to PhD as well. I admit I still harboured a bit of spite but who could hold a grudge anymore after hearing that voice? Ugh, I am so soft-hearted. And really, it must have been God’s test for me, a test of endurance, a test of obedience, a test of forgiveness; I hope I passed it.

Just a little anecdote to end off this section: Last night I went over to a friend’s house for dinner. She was going through a troubled time due to work and relationship issues, and we exchanged experiences and advice. I shared with her my situation VERY VAGUELY – I was very careful about what to disclose, saying no names and referring to no events or circumstances – though I was very specific about my FEELINGS. As soon as she started to 罵 PhD, or “that jerk” (那個混蛋) as she calls him (‘cause she doesn’t know who it was that caused me to be so depressed) I began to think of any excuses possible to defend PhD. I told her he’s not as bad a person as she imagined him to be and really a lot of it is my fault too, blah blah blah. Then I remember that I would defend “that jerk” in the same way in front of you, and you’d tell me, “You don’t have to 說好話 for him, a jerk is a jerk.” Ha! She said the same thing, “你不用幫他說好話,混蛋就是混蛋。” How amusing.

2 – Read the Bible, no matter how little each day

This ties in with the previous point. That story about forgiving 77 times, I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before. Some stories and passages in the Bible are so well-known and so often cited that we take them for granted, as if we totally know what they’re talking about, as if we are acting on them. Yeah right. You may know a Bible verse but you never truly understand its essence and meaning until you’ve experienced something that makes you apply it in your life. This whole forgiveness thing, I mean seriously it’s hard enough forgiving ONCE, let alone 77 times. Then you truly begin to see how amazing God is for forgiving us well…infinitely.

We often complain that we can’t hear God’s voice but something someone told me once made a lot of sense. “The Bible is God’s way of talking to us; if you don’t even read it and try to understand it, then how is God supposed to communicate with you in critical times?” It’s like God is TRYING to get to you, but you don’t even know what He’s trying to tell you because you are not familiar with His voice and His words! And we blame God for not being crystal clear while we are the ones in the lazy department. GG.

I went to our English Sunday service last week and we talked about Romans 12:1 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. It seemed like an ordinary verse when you first read it, something that you’d probably forget right away, but when you examine it deeply, it can apply so profoundly in your life, as the pastor has put it. During my quiet time in the cafe, that particular verse also spoke to me loudly, telling me that I am a LIVING SACRIFICE for God, and that I have no right to abuse my heart and my mind and my BODY, since everything was given to me by God. I have to sacrifice the very best, and if I see myself as that sacrifice, I will live truthfully and fully, FOR God, in everything I do. Every word I say, every step I take, every shoelace I tie, every dish I wash…I do it for God, the one who gave me life. No more being upset. No more being bitter. No more torturing myself with the past. And that was why I put up a quote on Facebook the other day (which I thought up in the café): 獻上自己的身體作為活祭,為著主耶穌而活。不再糾結,不再沮喪,不再逃避,把時間,身軀,心思意念,都交給神。破碎的心,你必醫治。迷失的靈,你必尋回。

See how awesome it is when you CAN hear God’s voice speaking to you? Pick up the Bible today and read! (Sounds like such a cliché advertisement LOL.)

3 – What it means to “become” a Christian

I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten the feeling that you’ve been “tricked” into this whole Christianity thing, or as I’d like to put it, 上了賊船. The problem never occurred with me because my journey began at a young age and was a very continuous one, so I never struggled much with the concept of “becoming” a Christian. However, I often wonder, for the people who decided, at one point in their lives, to “become” a Christian – how did that feel? Was there one moment where they just…believed? How drastic was the transformation? How did they stick to it?

I’ll give you a few examples of my curiosity. I think some people become Christians based on the fact that all you have to do is “believe” in God and his salvation, and you’d be going to heaven. I doubt many new believers would know about what the life of a true Christian is like until they go through it themselves. I mean, how would they know it’s the responsibility of a Christian to offer 1/10 of their earnings? Or to spread the gospel? Or to go to church and fellowship? You aren’t told these things when you make your 决志禱告 as far as I know, and I wonder how many new Christians have this thought: “Hey, I thought all I had to do was believe, and now you’re telling me that I have to do this and do that?” Do people stop being Christians because of this?

I guess that sort of explains the phenomenon of our society today, how so many people CLAIM that they’re Christians but don’t live like one at all. That was probably me before coming to France – yeah I admit I’m a Christian alright, but did I really know what it meant? Probably not. The sad thing is that there are people who think that if you’ve prayed that one prayer once in your life, or if you’re baptized, then you’re definitely saved. Now I’m not saying I know for sure who will be saved or not, and it is something that also boggles my mind. Do we really know we’re saved? If I know I’m going to die today, can I die with the confidence knowing that I will stand in front of God and be brought into the gates of heaven? Is faith really enough?

Of course, we can take a look at Romans and James, where it talks about faith. Romans says that we are 因信稱義 (“Justified through faith”, Romans 5:1) while James says 沒有行為的信心是死的 (“Faith without deeds is useless”, James 2:20). Perhaps what’s important here is the order – no one can be saved solely by their actions. We believe first, and BECAUSE we believe, we carry out what we believe, in action. Then the question becomes, what do we BELIEVE, as Christians, and in turn, what are the appropriate ACTIONS? When I think about these things deeply they mess with my head and I get so weary, but they’re important questions. Do you understand what I’m trying to get at?

4 – Does it matter?

So clearly I’ve come to the realization that Christianity is…complicated. As mentioned before, you don’t just “believe” anymore, and it always comes back to the question, “Is simply believing ENOUGH?”

This question arose after watching a few video clips by Stephen Tong (唐崇榮), who is probably the most famous Chinese-speaking pastor in the world, and Paul Washer, whose sermon I sent you once. Let me focus on Stephen Tong. He preaches what is known as “Reformed Theology” (歸正神學), and to be honest till now I don’t really get what “reformed” mean. They say it means “linking everything back to the Bible” but I thought…isn’t the entirety of Christianity supposed to link everything back to the Bible? Then I wondered why there are so many “branches” and types of churches…reformed, Presbyterian, Baptist, Evangelical, Methodist, etc.. And then there are schools of thought…Lutheran, Calvinist, and whatever else there is. If what Stephen Tong said stands true, does that mean all other forms of Christianity…don’t follow the Bible strictly? I’m totally confused.

The way one of his sermons puts it, we have to be active in reformation, passionate about true, Biblical theology, and fervent in the Christian revolution. Somehow this bothered me. I mean…I just want to be an ordinary Christian, believing in my God and being in a personal relationship with Him. I don’t have the time and energy and GIFT to go so deeply into everything about theology, to worry about Christian reformation, to be a full-time preacher – not everyone has that calling. Yet it puts doubt into my mind – by not doing this, does that make me less “Christian” than someone who does indeed have the fervor for such endeavors? Somehow it feels like being a Christian isn’t just about a personal relationship with God anymore, and the more I dwell on this subject, the more confused I get.

One guy in fellowship mentioned one thing recently. “I think that the Bordeaux fellowship should develop into a reformist church, and not a purely evangelical one.” This provoked a few unsaid reactions from me. First of all, as I’ve eluded to before, I still don’t know the difference between all of these “branches” or “schools of thought”, and truth be told, I don’t think many of us in the fellowship truly understand it. Does that mean we haven’t gained a solid foundation in our faith? When someone becomes a Christian, he doesn’t CHOOSE to be a reformist or a Calvinist or a Lutheran or whatever…or at least I don’t think so. While I believe that the current case of our fellowship is an intricate one, I will also be blunt and say we’re pretty far from becoming an independent church, what with the lack of resources and all that, so…whether our future church is a reformed church or an evangelical church or whatever, is NOT an immediate concern at the moment.

So, the reason why the title of this section is “Does it matter?” links back to the very original question: “Is simply believing ENOUGH?” I don’t like the word 教 so whenever anyone says 基督教 I shiver a little bit. I always liked to say that I believe a God, not a religion or an institution (信神,不是信教), but all the technicality indeed makes our entire belief seem so “religionified”. I have no right to say whether this is the way it’s supposed to be, but it just bothers me a lot.

5 – Passion and love for God

After watching another video clip from Paul Washer, this topic came up. Do I have a passion for God? Do I love God? Do I desire God? We sing it in songs, we say it in prayers, we THINK we love God. It’s so easy to say, “I love You, God” but really? Do I?

It’s an interesting comparison when you look at the way you love a person and the way you love God. During a seminar about love and marriage, one missionary said, “在你能擁有浪漫且成熟的戀愛之前,你必須先瘋狂地愛上神。” Hmm. Pretty extreme usage of wording there. Now imagine the person you love the most, and imagine loving God 128301 times more. I dunno about you but I find it pretty hard to imagine. It’s not a matter of whether I should or I would, but whether I COULD love God that much.

Another interesting thing mentioned in one of the sermons – do I love God, or do I love what God can give me? This is how weak we are, as human beings. We are so consumed with earthly pleasures that we lose sight of GOD Himself, and we end up loving the world more than we love God. If I could give up my belongings and my pride for a PERSON that I love, can I do the same for GOD? At this stage, my honest answer would be no, I cannot. Sometimes I don’t even have the guts to pray before I eat in a group, or testify about God to a friend, or say “praise the Lord” in public – how can I lie and say I LOVE God? What does it take to reach that 1337 level when you can truly love God for God?

6 – Some miscellaneous stuff, mainly things discussed on the train with Dragon that day

I think I told you that during the trip back to Bordeaux from Paris, I booked my trip on the same train as Dragon (even though he was going back to his own city, but Bordeaux was on the way so it worked out). I sat beside him during the entire trip and for 3.5 hours we had some quite insightful sharing time. I don’t think I ever went into detail, so here we go (this can probably qualify as its own entry…lol).

Ever since getting to know Dragon a lot better during the summer, I’ve looked up to him as a spiritual buddy and “guide” of some sort. Though in my eyes, he already has a very intimate relationship with God, he always strives to do better and draw closer to God at every opportunity, and I truly respect him for that. He shared with me the story of how he became a Christian – and how funny, it was PhD who brought the gospel to him, haha! – and how he was thankful that God gave him a heart of 飢渴慕義 (“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”, Matthews 5:6), something I certainly don’t have. He said he was instantly interested in the Bible and the word of the true God, and he’d always dig up good sermons to watch whenever he had a chance. Dragon’s famous quote, everyone in the fellowship knows, is “回到聖經”, so in everything he does, he sticks closely to Biblical principles. And he loves Stephen Tong’s sermons, a reformist, I see.

I told him that for me, I am not a person that asks a lot of questions, at least not about the Bible. Whenever I read something in the Bible, no matter now confusing it is, I’ll take it as it is and believe what it says (maybe after reading it a few times). I said, “我的問題就是我沒有問題!” Does that mean I’m not keen enough? How come everyone else asks a thousand questions and I just sit there and nod? When I told him this, he said that it is a blessing, because I purely BELIEVE – actually that’s the same thing you told me awhile ago, if you remember!

So then we started talking about our thoughts on the year 2011, and he asked me to begin. SOMEHOW I started with how I was amazed by the change of heart and it obviously led to the whole PhD thing. No I did not mention any names or any specific event. I was speaking in very broken, cryptic sentences with scattered thoughts and lots of pauses – the things I said were so specific to me yet so VAGUE to him at the same time! I could see question marks rising out of Dragon’s head…poor guy LOL! Well he was very patient and he listened without interrupting and let me finish what I was saying, though he clearly noticed that I was in distress as I recounted some of the feelings that I had undergone. I don’t quite remember how my part ended, but I felt a little bad afterwards simply because I confused the poor guy so much, haha!

Anyway, we also talked a lot about the whole concept of “worship” and what it meant to truly worship God. Although I have begun to lead worship, I felt like I had never truly gotten “into” the heart of worship even when I led. At times I wonder whether I lead true worship, or it’s just a singing fest. Then I said, “I should learn true worship,” and Dragon replied with something that I still think about constantly today. He said, “你覺得敬拜是學會的嗎?” At that moment I was quite stunned and I was literally at a loss of words because I think he hit a critical point. “神要的是我們心靈和誠實的敬拜,” he also said (John 4:23-24). What is a heart of worship? Are we worshipping because we have to, or because we want to?

We also touched a bit upon musical worship. Dragon is the type of person who enjoys classical music and is much more inclined towards traditional hymns than modern worship songs. As such, he wasn’t too pleased to have heard a lot of Chinese worship songs with popular tunes at the gospel camp, nor did he find it appropriate to get hyped up and jump up and down on the stage. “沒有平安,” he said, and I could see where he is coming from. A lot of modern worship songs catch our attention with a cool melody and as we immerse ourselves in singing, we forget to pay attention to the words we’re singing. As for traditional hymns, yeah they might not be so attractive to today’s young generation, but as I’ve heard from a few people, older songs are so much more “theologically enriched” while modern songs lack that Biblical insight. Consequently I’ve started to like – in terms of Chinese worship songs at least – slower and “holy-er” songs more than fast, popular songs.

As Dragon was heading back to Tarbes and spending the New Year’s by himself, we thought we’d count our blessings during the past year while we could, on the train. Rather strange, we didn’t end up doing too much counting, but instead we smiled a whole lot. “想起這麼多的恩典,就有一種甘甜的感覺,” he said. It was like reminiscing the sweet, sweet times of the past – words weren’t needed, but the unsaid feelings of joy and thankfulness filled both of our hearts, and one smile encompassed all the words that could have been said.

Epilogue: FINALLY THE END

Well I wrote a book. I don’t know if you read it all, but I truly enjoyed writing this post because it gave me so much time to THINK. I’m sure there are a lot of details and other things I could have noted but then you’d be reading for 923084302 days. I apologize for the random Chinese/English switch at times that made things seem a little inconsistent, but some things just had to be expressed in Chinese in its originally quoted format. This thing is 7 pages in MS Word and over 4000 words – I impress myself 😀

P.S. I forgot one point, and I’m not going to go back and add another section, but…did Judas repent? If he did, did Jesus forgive him?

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Over money

You know how people always say, money hurts relationships? And how in a relationship you’re not suppose to let money get in the way of two people?

Well, just to give you a heads up – money can really be a huge issue between 2 people, and I can totally see how money can become a wedge between relationships. Hear me rant, but please pray that God gives me wisdom, patience, and to help me get rid of my bitterness (and partly, selfishness).

OK, so money. As you know, Darwin and his family are not very well off. Recently, Darwin and I joined bank accounts together…since the house is under both our names, it really only makes sense to financially join in order to stop having to transfer money all over the place. Makes sense, it makes things more efficient.When our parents sat down together shortly after we got engaged, one of the “rules” my parents set was that if Darwin was going to take money out of our account and give it to his family, then we need to give the same amount of $ back to my parents. This isn’t because my parents are trying to use us a money tree, but they just wanted it to be fair. Because the money that he brings home, it’s partially my money as well, and vice versa.

So in the midst of a careful budget to make sure we can actually pay for all the expenses in 2012 (ie. house and wedding costs), WITHOUT the help of our parents, we had very very little money left over. Basically it’s really tight, and to be honest I thought not ASKING for his parents to give US money should already be a relief to them.

So today, when Darwin told me that he gave his parents $200 for the month, I felt kind of bitter in my heart. Why? Well because he didn’t even bring up the idea of giving MY family $200, even though he knows it’s the “rule”, until I brought it up. When I did, he just said “OK fine give your parents $200”. Okay…except can we really afford to be $400 short this month? Not really…plus it’s my dad’s bday at the end of the month and we were going to take our family out for a nice dinner, which was going to cost like $200 for the 5 of us. So why am I upset? Well, when he gave the $200 for his family did he realize that it’s actually $400 that he has to pitch out? Like maybe we need to portion it evenly, so becomes $100 per family? We settled that next time if we’re giving money to family we need to notify the other person first, NOT state it so matter-of-factly AFTER the fact.

And no we cannot afford to give away $400 every month. Darwin says this month can be an exception because it’s Christmas. Fine. But I hope he realizes that we have no wiggle room in the budget anymore.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

I don’t get it!!! Oh and I missed out on an important point – his parents ASKED Darwin for the money. Do they seriously think we’re just like SOOOOO RICH??? When everyone else gets married, parents PAY for most of the wedding. It’s already stressful trying to make ends meet on OUR OWN. Thank you for not helping with the burden but adding to it instead.

I don’t even know why I’m so pissed off. SIGHHHHH

Blessed

Darwin and I went to see Pastor James on Friday (our premartial counselor), and was surprised when we asked him how many “sessions” we have left in the program, and he actually said we “finished” the curriculum a few sessions ago! But he was still spending time with us just out of wanting to mentor and teach us more about marriage and relationship. Well, to begin with he had no obligations to actually spend any time with us, since we’re technically not members of his church. I was really touched by his sincerity, and just his heart and passion for God’s ministry, and the gift that God has given him – to guide new families in God’s word.

 

At that moment I just thought of how many other people God had placed in my life…who has in one way or another been a huge blessing to me. Friends from highschool to university (including you LOL, huge blessing 😉 ), to church brothers and sisters, family, coworkers…people who have helped me out just out of the goodness of their hearts. I wish I could be more appreciative, more thankful =)

 

An interesting thing that Pastor James brought up with us last night was the idea of “marriage expectations”. In fact it was the area that he felt could be a potential “concern” in our future marriage. Interestingly enough, I had been pretty upset about this problem with Darwin last year. The fact that I felt “disappointed” because he wasn’t meeting MY “expectations”, and as a result it became a big burden between us, and damaged the relationship.

 

Pastor James point – it’s good to have expectations of ourselves (ie. I want to be a better ______ to someone), but to have unrealistically  high expectations of our spouse is dangerous. Not to go into too much detail, but I find this to be so true. So often we like to have such high expectations of OTHER people, but what our ourselves? How many times have we read the bible and used it to criticize someone (even in our heads)? But that’s not the way God intended us to use the bible, not as a big stick to whack other people with. I’m guilty of that to be honest. A lot of times I’ll read verses (or other materials), and think “see Darwin should do that, the bible says so, fail”. But how come I can’t criticize myself?

 

Next lesson is about SILENCE – which I think will be interesting because I have a really tough time getting my brain to shut up. Even when I’m “praying” or “meditating”, my mind wanders and I start thinking about unrelated things. Despite how Jesus was really busy too, he ALWAYS made time to be quiet in front of God.

Delinquent in Bloggin!

So you have been blogging here!! Shame on me, clearly haven’t checked in a while…thought when I subscribe this thing is suppose to tell me that a post has been made?? Blah, fail – should have checked more regularly.

Clearly, I suck! Let’s see if I can get my act together enough to make some kind of a habit back into blogging, like how we had it before XD If not always God related, then at least a place for us to write down thoughts, feelings and rants for the other person to read!!

So, your friend is visiting in 4 days. I shall be praying for you guys. So excited to see what God has planned out for you – looking back, his timing has always been the best. Patience is an endless lesson.

Have you been reading the bible lately? I’ve been pretty delinquent about that too. When life gets comfortable, we (or at least I do) tend to forget God, and forget to read and chase after him. I guess we are so easily distracted, and then when crap happens we go crying back to God.

Read something interesting in Ecclesiastes the other day:

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.

Soloman, the “teacher” in ecclesiastes shares his chase about the meaning of life. God gave this guy more wisdom than anyone else ever had (or will have). Soloman spent his time trying to find what is “meaningful” through fulfilling every worldly desire he could think of – building houses, having parties, getting drunk, taking on huge projects, sleeping around – but he found no satisfaction. Then he realizes there’s nothing better for us then to be happy and to do good and find satisfaction in our work — this is what God gave us.

On another note – I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GETTING MARRIED. 277 days.

Most of the days I don’t think much about it, since I can’t wear my ring to work all the time anyways, so it slips my mind. On occasion I sit down and the realization hits me XD I’m moving into our house and I’m marrying Darwin in 277 days…WHAT THE HELL???? LOL. Sometimes I get really giggly and dreamy, sometimes I just get stressed out thinking about all the work ahead of us.

I can’t wait for you to come back to Toronto!!!!!! So we can talk in person instead of over msn!!!!

 

I need to organize the crap on my desk. It’s so messed up that I don’t even know where to find things anymore. And my lab book is so outdated. Gah. PhD life is finally somewhat starting to feel real. Hectic, busy, overwhelming. And I like it.

It’s this kind of busy that makes me feel alive and not wasting time. I know I say that I don’t want to stay here any longer, but that’s only because January is coming up and I had in mind some “stuff” to do towards the end of the month. Oh, and the flight and accommodation thing too, of course. If it were any other month, perhaps I wouldn’t mind it as much. I enjoy working here very much, I really do.

Though you know, sometimes I think I’m trying too hard to take things into my own hands, to finish everything on time so I can actually go back in peace. I’ve been planning and planning, fitting everything in my schedule, ASSUMING that everything will go according to the master plan. Of course, everything goes wrong. No aluminium paper for the imprint. Mould problems. Silanization station hogging (which happens to be me). Descum appointments uncertain. Re-silanization of moulds required. Gah. I need to learn to take things one step at a time. Right now we see if there’s any news about the paper. If yes, then I have to consider silanizing the moulds during the weekend so I can do massive imprinting on Monday. If not, then…I don’t know. Also, we need to see if I can actually get something on the P190 mould and if I have time to produce enough samples. Then we see how the Skype meeting goes on Monday and it’ll alllllllllllll be put together then…somehow.

Things eventually work out. If I have to stay in Belgium in January, then tant pis. It will be really something to “accept”.

Today I truly “worked” with my supervisor for the first time, and by that I mean I saw him perform an experiment on the XRR. I’ve always wanted to see supervisors actually do lab work; it’s just so…intriguing and it confirms that they were once students as well, hehe. Ramya said the same thing about Rob when I was at UHN, and I guess that’s how the curiosity came about. Anyway, watching Alain work was indeed quite a “wow” experience because he actually knows what he’s doing the entire time. Great stuff, sir.

To end the entry, I just want to note that there are times (e.g. now) when I just need someone to TALK with. I don’t care if it’s mindless talk; ANY kind of talk is okay. I need someone to keep me sane and remind me that I’m still alive.

Then again, I’ve found reassurance during this crazy week of work. You enjoy your work when you’re okay with being busy. You enjoy your work when you look forward to the challenge of planning. You enjoy your work when you find a tiny tingle in your heart as you learn something new at work (like today at SEM). You enjoy your work when you’re smiling, maybe subconsciously, while you work. I think I still enjoy my work, thank God.

Written on Oct. 21

I wrote this little something almost a month ago, and surprisingly it still fits my situation right now (except for the getting sick part), so I thought I’d share.


年紀越大,越喜歡看一些感性的文章。以前也有看,但看過了,也就忘了。現在讀別人寫關於生活,愛情,或未來的文章,卻會更深一層地用心去體會。然而,我不想把自己變成一個多愁善感的人。適當的感性能夠刺激情感,豐富內心世界,但過度的感性卻會讓人家(甚至自己)覺得自己虛偽。所以,有時候看了一些讓自己感動的東西,也就不必“分享”了,反而笑一笑,反省一下自己的生活,那就够了。

朋友都跟我說,作為一個搞科研的女孩,我應該是一個非常理性的人。哈,似乎我騙倒了好多人。若要理性和感性拔河,我想感性會贏。我做事很依靠感覺,特別是處理感情問題的時候,若我不控制自己,我會憑著衝動而做出一些也許不該做的事。因此,在成長的過程中,“節制”和“理性”是很大的功課。“節制”涉及到“忍耐”,而“忍耐”又涉及到“等候”。這人生的功課啊,無法學得完。

在人前,我總要顯得自己很有精神,永遠把微笑掛在嘴邊。聰明,溫和,有耐心,卻灑脫-這是別人能看到的 Annie,但我卻被自己的愚蠢和焦急打敗,雖然別人無法察覺到。此外,更沒有人看到我內心的腐敗,那驕傲,貪心,自私,嫉妒,懷疑,幸災樂禍,等等。我不敢自誇,有什麽好誇的呢?只想起那一句,“我的恩典是夠你用的,我的能力是在人的軟弱上才顯得完全”。要誇,就只能誇主的寬容。我不配。

這幾天心情特別差。天氣變冷了不在話下,但心裡一直困擾我的事,再次來襲擊我。不太想用一些太美的字詞來裝飾我的心情,只是簡單地說,我想崩潰。這等待,太難了。

那件事,我不認輸,卻不敢囂張。我現在只是在等待審判的結果。在這個過程當中,我不會再做一些愚蠢之極的事情。逃避,捉迷藏,故意引人注意,這些事,十年前的我會毫不猶豫地下定決心去做。消失一個星期,逼自己忍受寂寞的折磨。何苦?在就在,不在就不在。我不喜歡QQ隱身那套,所以我不會順著風向走。今天的我不是從前的我。最終,幸福是屬於我的。

可能我真的太不知天高地厚,在一年之間把自己整得太累,而終於病倒了。然而,我不後悔。獨自旅遊,看世界,為工作奔波,為神,為朋友,為我愛的人付出,難道不值得?才病了一個星期嘛,後天,又是一條好漢,準備好再次出發

Saw this on Facebook

…which reminds me of the sharing I’m going to do tonight at fellowship (and I might post it later after reorgnization if I’m not too lazy) and particular this one verse: “你們所遇見的試探,無非是人所能受的,神是信實的,必不叫你們受試探過於所能受的。在受試探的時候,總要給你們開一條出路,叫你們能忍受得住。” 哥林多前書10:13

We’re supposed to undergo trials and God does allow it to happen to us but we can be certain that whatever trial He allows us to experience is BEARABLE. He’ll let the little rocks hit, and we’re not gonna die as long as we hang onto Him 🙂

Just something to share

Read this on the fellowship group discussion thing, thought I’d share it as I found it pretty interesting.


我們需要求神幫助我們清楚地認識,是當神把這個女人帶到男人的面前去的時候,神有一個機會讓他們遇見的時候,這個男人就認出這個女人來說:“這是我骨中的骨,我肉中的肉。”所以我勸作姊妹的,你千萬不要認出你的男人來!我認識好多對的婚姻,是因為這個姊妹說:“我禱告中間很清楚,就是要我嫁給這個男的”,就把那個男的嚇得半死。有的弟兄又比較軟弱,既然聽說你是這麼確定,是上帝叫我娶你的,我還不敢不娶你!娶了以後呢?十年,二十年,三十年的婚姻充滿的哀聲怨氣!因為弟兄姊妹,必須是亞當認出夏娃來,所以在要進入婚姻的時候,一定是要男人主動,一定是要男人先認出這是我的女人,這是神所為我預備的。

每一個神的兒女,你要相信一件事。如果神要把你帶到婚姻的裡面,神一定會有他奇妙的安排。我不是說你沒有責任,我不說你不要盡你當盡得這一份責任,我是說你要預備你的心,你要與你的眼睛立約,你要肯有屬靈的眼光來接受神的帶領,神的安排。

Why God created insects to be so ugly and disgusting

Ever since my horrific maggot incident, I have been asking God why he had to make insects…not only make them but make them SO ugly and disgusting, and nasty and gross.

Lately i’ve found a lot of firebrats in my bathroom –>>>

At first they were just small ones I could easily take them down with a nice handful of toilet paper. Then I started to see them more often, it started to become a daily occurence, now I have to scan my bathroom floor before I walk in. Apparently they are noctural, so when I wake up in the middle of the night for a pee break….BOO there they are!!

Not only am I seeing more of them, but they’re clearly growing in size. With some raid leftover from the maggot incident I sprayed it along the bottom of the sink cabinet, which I think they are hiding in.

No good, still there =(

So today I cleaned my bathroom (which, admittedly I haven’t done in a while) and mopped my floor. Once again I was wondering and asking God…WHY IS THIS HAPPENING??? LOL, then I really thought God answered me =P I know it sounds totally lame, but it’s liek a lightbulb went off in my head, and so arises my THEORY OF INSECT ORIGIN.

Bottom line – I believe God made insects to scare us into keeping our homes (and ourselves) clean. Notice that insects only appear when things are NOT clean, or you live messy, etc etc. At first, small insects begin to appear…silverfish, earwigs, flour beetles – nothing really nerve wrecking. This is a warning. If you don’t get your act together, God starts to draw in big bad asses of the insect world. Ie. his centipedes AND spiders. Note that these bigger (and indefinitely scarier) insects require other insects as a food source. If you’re not clean and have harbored a nest of small insects, PERFECT food source for centipedes and spiders. So they come to scare the living daylights out of you. And indirectly promptly you to clean like a mad person in order to get rid of them.

I guess I haven’t been doing a very good job in keeping my place clean. I don’t live in filth, but I probably don’t vacuum, do laundry, wipe the counters, mop the floor as often as God wants me to =P In light of realizing my shortcomings, I also realize that soon I’ll be living with someone else *ahem* Darwin *ahem*. Who, is a bit of a clean-ophobe. I’ve always felt like God’s telling me there are some habits I need to shed before I get married…since you’re no longer living on your own you need to be considerate of other people too. True.

So in a strange way…Thank God for the bugs? O.o

I’m praying that he’ll stop with the firebrats – I really don’t want to see a centipede…i’m not THAT bad…..>.<

 

 

How time flies

I guess it’s time I sit down for a bit to collect my thoughts =P your videos of our fun times in Waterloo makes me realize how quickly time flies – even I had forgotten those moments, it’s awesome that they’re recorded so we can look back at it and laugh =)

God has really blessed me to have you guys as my friends and housemates for so long XD

I had meant to write a post on something that stuck to my mind after talking to Pastor James (our premartial counsellor) – he asked, why did God choose to rest on the 7th day after he created the world? Was it because he was tired or needed to rest? No. God is God, he wouldn’t be God if he got tired or needed to take breaks. But he rested on the 7th day because he knew WE needed rest, and he wanted to set an example for us to follow.

I had talked about busy-ness before and how it eats into our lives. Similarly, Pastor James was also talking about the importance of Sabbath. I always thought of Sabbath as an old Jewish tradition that we don’t have to follow, blah blah blah. But really it’s just talking about setting aside a day where we can truly rest. Maybe right now we can’t put aside a whole day, but even just a part of a day…a few hours, ONE hour even, to just NOT do work, not think about what else needs to be done, not run around to do errands and take a break from those around us.

He highly recommends married couples to set aside Saturday as their “Sabbath” day. So I asked, what do you do on the Saturday then? He literally said – well you can sleep in until you’re both ready to wake up, have a nice lunch…..then in the afternoon, if you want to nap, take a nap. And then when you’re both awake, study the bible and pray together. Then it’s dinner time! Have dinner…don’t worry about saving food for tomorrow, relax and then back to bed!

I was totally LOL-ing at the thought of that, in my head i thought, well I can certainly use ONE day a week like that. Although right now it may not be realistic but I think his whole point is basically to have a time of rest. Don’t pack your schedule full. Have time for yourself and for God.

Regarding engagement – It’s been almost 2 weeks now and I still can’t really believe it!! I guess there is still a bit of an engagement high going on. But overall, still wading in disbelief. Darwin and I have dreamed of this day for years and years and years…we always talk about it, but we’ve never been able to DO anything about it. Now it’s finally happening, we’re looking for banquet’s together, doing premartial counselling, looking for a house together…if ever a dream is coming true – it’s now. I feel like God has truly delivered us, as a couple.

We went out to Milestones with fellowship from church on Friday night, 13 of us were there – Darwin and I were really happy that they’re taking time out to celebrate with us. After an awesome dinner of steak, they actually brought out a cake!! To celebrate the engagement!! LOL we were both sooooo happy. And then Susan (Jeff’s gf) gave us a present, it was a man and woman hugging with an angel over them.

God is great and so many times he’s proved to me that waiting on him is the right thing to do, and the best thing to do. I am so impatient and impulsive sometimes, but rest assured that God’s timing is PERFECT, regardless of our opinions at that moment. I’m no good at waiting for anything and I think this is constantly going to be an area God sharpens me in.

Will keep praying for you and you know who 😉

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