Sunday, December 21, 2008

So Tired of Being

Of being tired.

Two hours of tossing. And turning. And not sleeping.

One hour of vain attempts at productivity a.k.a. study/work. Ineffectual because, well, apparently not sleeping is slightly incapacitating. Quite the handicap.

One hour of further vain attempts at productivity a.k.a. sleep. I mean, try.

My pen could not keep up with my brain. So here I am again. Hello, blogger.
Typing madly. Because typing is faster than scribbling illegibly in my journal.

How is it that the mind attacks the body this way... to induce... insomnia. Or is it the soul that's revolting (in either the verbal or adjectival sense--take your pick). Maybe this merits a new tag; "psychosis" may be more apposite than "neurosis."

It's not like I don't try. I do and take everything that you say will help. I pay for your professional Dx. As to your Rx, I object. As mania is no healthier or more whole than depression, so the days at a time where I'd hibernate if society--and my roommates--permitted are no acceptable alternative to the consecutive sleepless nights.

Medicate or meditate? Beginning to lean to the latter... but how? M&M.
Maybe you need one first to be well enough for the other? Both, but one first? Which one?


All the while, Psyche is further fractured. She clamors for Eros, because feeling... nothing... is no way to live. Sleepwalking is not waking. Wakeparalysis is not sleeping. The zombie, the robot... have only a semblance of life. Need heart. Need to feel. Need to sleep.

Once upon a time,
I would wake at this hour.
Now, I'm still awake.


Who gives to His beloved sleep.
Ps 127.

Please. Mercy. Uncle. Father. Whatever.

Am Your beloved, Your creation, and You love me...
You have called me chosen for Your kingdom, unashamed to call me...

I will never doubt His promise

Though I doubt my heart, I doubt my eyes
My Deliverer is coming
I believe it!
Help my unbelief.

Sibling Quibbling

Who knows me well knows that my 哥哥 is of l'importance to me. We are more like-minded I think than I am with anyone else... But really different in many ways too. I manage to learn more about myself from him that from any other friend. Always inspired astonished and/or admonished to see in him who I could be. People say we talk alike, i.e. the same shade of monotony, I guess. Some people say we look alike too, but it's not like I get confused and call my reflection Josh when I look in the mirror (usually).

Last week he gave in to this 5th-grade-esque survey-list thing that's been floating around Facebook, and since I haven't felt so up to shareable or pleasant introspection lately you can read about my brother in his words instead of more about me in more of mine.

Once you’ve been tagged, you have to write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits or goals about you. At the end choose 16 people to be tagged, listing their names and why you chose them. You have to tag the person who tagged you.
  1. My fear of death stems from not being able to know what will happen in a hundred or thousand years.
  2. Anything I bring into my apartment eventually ends up on the floor.
  3. I have two sets of leather couches, two bicycles, three computers, dozens of bottles of wine, hundreds of cigars, and no bed to sleep on.
  4. C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters also altered my way of thinking, once upon a time.
  5. I sometimes think I was born for a different time; I dream of things like building a home with my own hands, chopping down trees, tilling fields while pondering the meaning of life, grand adventures, and being generally self-sufficient.
  6. I have a contingency plan for every situation you are capable of fabricating.
  7. The sight of an object always brings back precious memories (I'm slowly purging myself of evil packrat tendencies).
  8. Seeking brunette(s) with freckles and ambition.
  9. I used to talk non-stop and get into trouble constantly.
  10. I've actively avoided introspection the past three years.
  11. I really like leather, especially in the form of shoes.
  12. At the age of twenty-one I began to seriously question the concept of monogamy.
  13. I also like wood, cotton, wool, silk and linen... Perhaps a little too much.
  14. I need to learn the meaning of hard work.
  15. I used to care what people say and catalog every conversation. Now I can rarely bring myself to give a damn.
  16. I've given too much thought to being homeless or living in my car.
I think #3, 5, 11, 12, 13, 16 are relatively new. #9 "used to" is probably a huge understatement... Applies to hyperactive elementary school times and Sunday School when he'd rewrite the lyrics to all the songs. And Chinese school. And then one day he became this brooding intellectual thing.

And his heartwarming tags:
Justin, who always brings out the best in me
John, for the endlessly entertaining sexual tension
Jon L, who reminds me so much of myself yet is ostensibly nothing like me
Chris, always becoming more heroic in my eyes
Adam, i miss the contemplative j00zerker hidden inside
Jack, who i struggle with wanting to emulate
Keith, simultaneously a stranger and a brother to me
Jon S, who i miss more than i care to admit
Jennie, a symbol of simpler, happier times
Ariel, someone who somehow actually understands me
Esther, i trained you so well but now i find so much to learn from you
Nancy, always making me smile
Serena, possibly my foil
Winnie, our brief encounters always intrigue and inspire me
Joanna, always reminding me of the man i once wanted to be
Jess, for making it comfortable and easy to be my stupid self

My cop-out reply:

Esther Liu at 11:54pm December 15
1) I like to start things...

Joshua Liu at 1:19am December 16
that is perfection
I may or may not get around to writing a real note as the directions say. I've been in such a funk (underunderstatement) as of late but today things are and I am looking Up again.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Subscribe to 365-Day ESV-SB Reading Feed

M'Cheyne was a Scottish minister who designed a 365-day Bible reading plan to take readers through the NT and Psalms twice yearly, and the rest of the OT annually.

I started following this daily schedule when my discipler Irene gave me D.A. Carson's For the Love of God on my birthday.

In these two volumes, Carson slightly modifies the M'Cheyne readings by tweaking reading boundaries in four places and by giving readers the option of halving the pace. He also offers helpful commentary and insightful reflection on one of each day's passages.

Ben Edgington
has designed a server for making the daily readings available as online feeds. I wrote him to request that he add the ESV Online Study Bible as an additional source and he did today. Way cool -- Thanks, Ben.

If your browser is set to remember your ESV SB login credentials then it's just one extra keypress. Go to to configure your subscription link.

M'Cheyne + Carson + ESV SB have been for me valuable and practical tools in the study of God's word, so I wanted to share it here in hopes that it'll be one less excuse for you too. I'll be using this.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I like playing with the wax from Babybel's!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Where Should I Be Now?

If God had granted
All the silly prayers I
Have made in my life...
C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm.

When We Ask of God

Sometimes He gives.
Or not.
Or even takes away. And lets wander. And fall (ouch).

We perceive this as His withholding a kindness -- God being unkind. And unGod.
We deceive ourselves and think Him absent. Where is He? And why won't He do something?

Perhaps we were not yet in a place where His "kindness" would have led us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
We up and repent.

Ah, so it was kindness, after all.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

POM!! @ Red Mango

4pm Friday
First 100 customers
Free small pom yogurt

Monday, November 10, 2008

These Days

My brain cramps up when I try to write. Ouches.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Obamanable Snowman

I was trying to rush home from the 1 after "A Tale of Two Cities" to catch the post-election coverage when suddenly all these windows open people are sticking out their heads cheering yelling OBAMAAAAA and all sorts of madness at neighbors, the sky. It is really quite cool as I live across from a converted housing project with 1200 apartment units inside. Already his name and image are uniting the proletariat. Even Taylor was off the walls when we got home but then I realized she just wanted to pee.

Picked up Broadway's "Carols for a Cure." November means it's almost time for Christmas songs, yay!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Gauge of Importance

Too busy for ____________ is just entirely too busy.

Fill in the blank! (No, really. Do it.)

Some of mine: contemplation, food, sleep, friends, laughter, repentance, compassion! ...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What Beautiful Scrawly F's for S's

Beinecke releases several hi-res sample images of Edwards' writings.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Yesterday I was getting on the 1 train after Redeemer's evening service, and there were 3 rowdy hoodlums in the car -- probably around my age. Early during that 60-block ride from 79th one of them stops paying attention to his friends and begins to stare oh-so-awkwardly, as I try without success to avert his gaze in Maslow's Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences.

I'm stepping off the train now and he grabs the other guy's arm... "Man I saw dat girl in dat movie Keill Bill!" "Awwwww shoooot..."

If I had still been on the train and clever enough I should have said meng I knows you! I seen you in the Gangster's Paradise. Or JayZ's last vid.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Wilderness of Preparation

Abraham our father,
Was simply told to leave.
Go forth from your land and from your kindred
and even from your father's house.
To the land that I will show you.

This is the setting out.
The leaving of everything behind.
Leaving the social milieu. The preconceptions.
The definitions. The language. The narrowed field
of vision. The expectations.
No longer expecting relationships, memories, words, or
letters to mean what they used to mean. To be, in a
word: Open.

If you think you know what you will find,
Then you will find nothing.
If you expect nothing,
Then you will always be surprised.
And able to bless the One who creates the world anew
each morning.
So it is with setting out on the path of liberation, leaving

He would even have to discover
The way he would discover
While he was on the way.
Of him it was said, A man who set out and did not know
for which place he was destined. . .

Then there is being alone.
In the most God forsaken place.
Where God visits after all.
Leaving one's house and one's parents and one's family,
And finally the slave pits themselves
For a wilderness of no expectations.
Somewhere where I will learn what I will learn.
Where I can "see" what I will be.

-- Lawrence Kushner
Thanks M.

I am always so floored by professors who listen, as though I actually could tell them something new. Man, good profs make all the difference. I'm looking very forward to more work with Calichman, Levin, Mittelman, Staloff. How did it take so long to find these guys...??

FINALLY found an apartment today. I can actually have 24-hour days again! Without the 2-hour commute cap at the top and bottom of each day.
FINALLY excited about any remaining time at this school.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shiggity shiggity schwaa.

Today, I learned that
An upside down lowercase
E is called a schwa.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hypergrammarian Tendencies

Us r whoaz.

Yesterday after service Irene and I were discussing the ablative case outside the trailer (e.g. "pro bono" or "solā gratiā Dei") while spot-cleaning baby saliva.

Jerry, Rebecca, and I once pondered the correct use of "It is I," or "It's I," vs. the bastardized "It's me," and how "to be" verbs require the predicate. Jesus had it right, e.g. in Mt. 14:27 and probably has supremely godly grammar.

Isaiah, however... does not. Or does he?

I came across his wonderful "Woe is me" lament again this morning and sadly, yes, it bothered my brain. Ophelia says the same in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Apparently there's a book by Patricia O'Conner titled Woe Is I. And an angry hypergrammarian blogs about its in/correctness here.

In summary, some claim that "me" is in the dative, so the meaning is actually "Woe is (un)to me," though Safire thinks Shakespeare would just have written this if it's what he meant, or "Woe is mine" if poetic meter required three syllables. Purist predicate nominatarians in the "It's I" camp believe "Woe is I" is the gramatically pristine form.

For 400 years before Shakespeare, the written record shows people using woe is me, woe is us, woe is unto me, woe to them. It was ordinary English. If Shakespeare had written "Woe is I," we might want to examine his reasons, but "woe is me" requires no deep interpretation.

Please smack me if I ever say "Woe is I." And if I ever ROFL. Do people actually ROFL?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why so... Comprehensive?

A fourth reason for Christianity's success is to be found in its inclusiveness. More than any of its competitors it attracted all races and classes ... Judaism never quite escaped from its racial bonds ... Christianity however gloried in its appeal to Jew and Gentile, Greek and barbarian. The philosophies never really won the allegiance of the masses ... they appealed primarily to the educated [the morally and socially cultured] ... Christianity, however ... drew the lowly and unlettered ... yet also developed a philosophy which commanded the respect of many of the learned ... Christianity, too, was for both sexes, whereas two of its main rivals were primarily for men. The Church welcomed both rich and poor. In contrast with it, the mystery cults were usually for people of means: initiation into them was expensive ... No other [religion] took in so many groups and strata of society ... The query must be raised of why this comprehensiveness came to be. It was not in Judaism. Why did it appear in Christianity?

-- K.S. Latourette, A History of the Expansion of Christianity.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Omnia Vanitas.

when (process.wantsToRun) {
retort(process, "Why so serious?");


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Has It Really Been

"I can't believe it's been a year since last year!"

-- James Jih

Sums this month up pretty well.

I remember August 2007 as though it were hmm... The last thing I really remember.

The livid and fearful uncertainty, the company of godsends, the newness of trusting God who sent them... are still so raw and close.

Thank you.

Thank You.
You always know what it takes to keep me in need and in awe.
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm...
You always know what it takes.
And You always keep me.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Daniel 3

RBC's wordle creation.

Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.

-- Nebuchadnezzar

Another One

I often think about how much it would suck if my showerhead started spewing sewage.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Irrational Fear

I always spit out my gum before a game of Ultimate for fear of biting off (or at least badly mangling) my tongue during play.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

To Love... and Hate More Deeply.

We often pray for a greater desire to seek after God, to love him and his Truth. Hans spoke on Sunday morning to end our church youth summer retreat (more thoughts on camp later), and described his hatred for distortions of God's truth, for gospels that land dead people in hell:
"What we find is that when we love something passionately deeply with all our heart, it also means that we become capable of a great deal of hate -- Captain Ahab at the end of Moby Dick hatred; the kind of hate where you might give up your face to get back at someone. And the reason I'm talking about this kind of hatred... is because there's something I hate. If I could get rid of some things, you could rip my nose off my face and I'd be happy, I hate them so much. And if I hate you that much, you just... better start running for your life."

-- Hans Sun
Do I love the gospel, as proclaimed in God's Word, enough to abhor other gospels? ... Hardly. I often enjoy entertaining ideas of God's Son as a keycard, credit card, insurance card ...

And so I've been thinking in these terms lately, to gauge my love for X by my hatred for not-X, and by what I would give to see X and not not-X.

Do I loathe sin with hatred severe and graphic enough to mortify those members that allow me to act out sinful thoughts? Amputating and gouging sound rather extreme. And I rather like my eyeballs. I must have either a grossly inflated sense of the value of my limbs or a deflated view of sin. And eternity.
"It is better for you to enter life with one eye..." Matthew 18:8-9.
I suppose this is related. Westminster's Bookstore has a deal on The Mortification of Sin study pack (the book and a study guide for $7.48). I'm not about to read any Owen but you can be my guest.

Hi, God. Let me love You more. That's all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Resolutions

of Jonathan Edwards

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake.

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30.

9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.

12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.

14. Resolved, never to do any thing out of revenge.

15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.

16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

18. Resolved, to live so, at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

19. Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.

21. Resolved, never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him. (Resolutions 1 through 21 written in one setting in New Haven in 1722)

22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God' s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.

24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.

27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.

28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.

30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

31. Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.

32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Proverbs 20:6, "A faithful man who can find?" may not be partly fulfilled in me.

33. Resolved, to do always, what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without overbalancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.

34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.

35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.

36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.

37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,- what sin I have committed,-and wherein I have denied myself;-also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec. 22 and 26, 1722.

38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord's day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.

39. Resolved, never to do any thing of which I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.

40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.

41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.

42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.

43. Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's; agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.

44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. January 12, 1723.

45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan. 12 and 13, 1723.

46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it with respect to any of our family.

47. Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.

48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.

49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.

51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.

53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.

54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.

55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.

56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin. June 9, and July 13 1723.

58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May 27, and July 13, 1723.

59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July 11, and July 13.

60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4, and 13, 1723.

61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.

62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty, and then according to Ephesians 6:6-8, to do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man:‹knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.Š June 25 and July 13, 1723.

63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. January 14 and July 13, 1723.

64. Resolved, when I find those "groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those"breakings of soul for the longing it hath," of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be weary of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness, of which I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton' s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.

66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.

67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what am I the better for them, and what I might have got by them.

68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. August 11, 1723.

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak. August 17, 1723.

Friday, August 1, 2008


"Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters."

And all these and all the beasts and birds in their different voices, low or high or thick or clear, replied:

"Hail, Aslan. We hear and obey. We are awake. We love. We think. We speak. We know."

"But please, we don't know very much yet," said a nosey and snorty kind of voice.

"Creatures, I give you yourselves," said the strong, happy voice of Aslan. "I give to you forever this land of Narnia. I give you the woods, the fruits, the rivers. I give you the stars and I give you myself. The Dumb Beasts whom I have not chosen are yours also. Treat them gently and cherish them but do not go back to their ways lest you cease to be Talking Beasts. For out of them you were taken and into them you can return. Do not so."

-- C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew.

Rereading all the Chronicles by next Thursday.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oh yeah! I have a blog!

I should write things down more often.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Keep Meaning to Blog

... but there's too much to say. Or nothing at all. The past few weeks have been in many ways, a break from life. On the other hand, being far away with family has many of its own flusterations.

Sand fleas are viscious
One hundred forty or more
Bites adorn my skin

I am now fully
Certified to scuba dive
To one hundred feet

Visited Maui for a day, Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Cultural Center... Our hotel was a dingy place in Waikiki. Loved the weather and lack of mosquitoes, the rainbows and of course... the PACIFIC FUSION CUISINE. Waikiki has Menchanko which I frequented in NY so I took mother and Josh there. One afternoon Mom and Josh opted to nap at hotel instead of beaching. Sorely disappointed. So I hopped online, got yelled at by Pearl for being on computer in Hawai'i, and went off to the beach by meselfs. Cool.

Grandma and uncle picked us up from the airport. Where is Grandpa...? She says he's watching TV. When we go home, he is not there... We finally coax it out of her. Grandpa. Hospital. Stroke. Days ago. We've spoken to her so many times since, how could she not have said anything? Uncle says she routinely leaves out these updates for us. We visit him first thing in the morning. Josh and I wandered the 12 flights of stairs in this apartment complex searching for WiFi. WEP crackers are hard at work. Can't wait to visit our Atayal friends. Can't wait to hear the aborigine song again that chills your very marrow... Draw you in and set you free. Beautiful people living in beautiful simplicity and uninterrupted community. Grandma has shrunk even more. She must be under 4' tall now. She turned in a few hours ago and I glanced in her doorway on the way out for wireless hunting... There she sat at the edge of her bed that was covered with a frilly mosquito net dome, a shrunken, shriveled little woman in prayer. That's how I want to be at 80. On my knees still.

What We Learned About Koalas
This is too extensive a topic -- to be for another day.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

@ San Pedro Sula, Honduras

After mom dropped us off at O'Hare this morning, I told Josh I felt like this was the first time I'd ever been on vacation. Yea, pretty much, he agreed. It's just totally different traveling sans parents. The new passport I got only yesterday now has its first stamp! Hooray!

I did a double take as our cab drove past a gas station that read 64.09, surely a sign of the end times... The official exchange rate is about 16 although the locals will give you about 19. There are lots of Wendy's here.

Everything is en Espanol and I'm realizing that ¿Donde estan mis pantalones? really is only useful when I've lost my pants. Good thing Uncle Tim can converse in his Spanish/Portuguese jumble. I'm all confused -- what time is it? Miami was CST + 1 hour and here is Miami -2 hours? Not sure. International flights are like time travel.

After a long day of airports and airplanes our first meal of choice was McDonald's, which in Honduras has menu items such as Pollo McCrispy (Fried Chicken... better than Harlem. Word.), McNifica (something between a Quarter Pounder and a Big Mac. Almost Whopper-like), and of course Cajita Feliz (Happy Meals). The Coca-Cola here tastes different, it's flavored with cane sugar instead of obesity I mean HFCS. Like the yellow-cap kosher Coke bottles they sell in NY certain times of the year. The sandwich bread was different (better) as you can see in the picture, unfortunately the fries were stubby and sub-par.

Instead of a drive-thru this McD's had a walk through, just in case you were walking by and wanted to order from outside instead of the nicely air conditioned insides. I don't quite get it. I'm looking forward to the 80/90 degree weather here though the air is already starting to feel heavy.

Ronald McDonald is as creepy as ever. I hate clowns.

Homeless people everywhere, and mobs of men loiter on the streets... I thought I left Harlem last week.

The frazzle still is following me from last week's NY-Baltimore-NY-Philly-Naperville and then spending all of Tuesday at the Chicago Passport Agency... Last minute packing, drugstore & bank runs on the way to the airport this morning... Got home 1am Sunday and my stuff did on Monday at noon with my brother & his Budget truck, so we spent the day unloading. I've barely even unpacked yet, so packing was a bit difficult.

Man am I looking forward to a good week of (hopefully) unwinding. That's if I don't die of malaria, stingray, dysentery, or exploding lungs. Or melanoma. Police around our hotel have carbines strapped to their legs (real comforting). I'm all ready and armed with SPF70 and DEET. Haha that means tomorrow I will smell like brain damage.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

At Last!

Hellloooooooooo home. =)

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Driving! Oh how I have missed thee. GPS is real confusing; keep left then keep left... Road signs are worse. How the heck do you get onto the Qboro Bridge? The rental Toyota Rav4 V6 drives nicely and just about fits all my things. My skin turns Elphaba green the less sleep I get but I'm past the point of no return. The rents and Aunt Ruth snore in the background. Today my right index fingy incurred a blood blister = noob + folding umbrella. What to do? Feel like there's slug in my finger. Took mumsy and padre to Grand Sichuan, TKettle, Veniero's... Unfortunately they decided to saaaaaaaaaalt all the food at the restaurant and blah, the rents gave me the task of complaining to the waiter which I've never really done but it was quite liberating. On the walk home from dinner/breakfast what? at Tom's Restaurant I thought of that weird worship thought clone moment and funny thing is I think I am the subject of amazing pity love. Oops jokes on me. Packing up to go home. All year long I thought today would never come and here it came and went. Familiar is the tension, irritation, restraint, lack of. A relief. I know how this works I can handle this. I can restate what he just said to you so you hear it even though it's his thought. I can ask you into wanting to do what she wants even though you thought it was a really dumb idea. Can you guys please stop gnawing at each others' necks. Picked up at Vav today, where last I stopped. Finally played with camera today. Many loose ends to tie up at 10027. Contacts have been in since Monday morning.

5/21-5/23 Baltimore, MD
5/23-5/24 New York, NY
5/25-5/27 Chicago, IL
5/28-6/4 Roatan, Honduras
6/6-6/11 Hawaii
6/12-7/2 Taiwan

Mommers woke and told me to go to bed.


Monday, May 19, 2008

What Proof Do You Have?

A facebook note by a girl from my high school asking evidence for God's existence. Ophelia says, "I might as well know before I check into hell." Check in? My dear, I'd like to tell her. Without God, you're probably already there... Okay, yes I realize there are many flaws in that statement.

A little thread from this discussion:

George Beadle (Biologist): "Is it any less awe-inspiring to conceive of a universe created of hydrogen with the capacity to evolve into man, than it is to accept the Creation of man as man?"
I don't think you'll prove or disprove anything from an evolutionary perspective... Though we may dig deeper into regressive causes, there is no way to escape the irrationality of an impersonal original cause.
As you put it, "one will keeping looking for answers until a reasonable conclusion is reached" and you know... Several rational minds have found such a satisfactory answer in God's existence.

And yet, so have they found answers in God's non-existence. :) To each his own, I say. (To each his own? No absolute truth? *shudder*)

Sure... Both reasonable conviction of God's existence and of His non-existence require a leap of faith. I guess your rationale is respectable, but just please consider a little bit of what we've agreed on the next time you reduce belief in God to folly, a crutch, for the uneducated and simple-minded.
The answer of His existence might never be evident and acceptable for all...
Perhaps a creator-God so far above our ways, with thoughts that are not our thoughts, or in your words "far, far superior, intelligent" really does "just completely overshadow" what our minds can conceive. What are created beings to know their creator, as though a puppet should understand the intricacies (or even the existence) of the marionette, or a lump of clay its potter!

I don't think I was trying to get across that belief in God is something horrendous; though I myself disagree with the idea that there is a deity, I do respect others' beliefs. Besides, I know where you're coming from. Not long ago, just half a year, I was a pious believer.
I haven't had to offer "proof" (is there such a thing for this matter the way we understand the word?) on many occasions. Probably because I rarely take the opportunity to share or defend my faith. I definitely know that it is tiny, and that I am most often not articulate enough, not sure enough, not consistent enough in my actions... Though if I really sought to promulgate the power of God and the sufficiency of that message in itself and not the wisdom of men (i.e. my eloquence, logic, morality)... Well, nevermind that's like saying if I had more faith I would be more faithful.

My friend tells her, "I wouldn't really worry about it, Ophelia; your time can be better spent on other things." Really, Ally J? Here's your shoutout, since you're like 1 of 3 people who read this thing. While the question of God's existence might never be exhausted no matter how much time is spent in pursuit of the answer... I can think of no worthier pursuit. What can matter until you at least consider the verity of God? If you decide He is false, a creation of man, then yes, anything you spend your time on would be more important. And of course if indeed that He is creator is true, He is of infinite importance, He is life itself. I already know you disagree. Thanks for your lovely comments here... They are always welcome, no matter how scathing (I'm inviting your dissent, homie... jump on it).

What proof do you have that God exists?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Oh Dad

Somewhere along the way I bought a lie that You're a disciplinarian in the business of withholding good things from Your own children for sport.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Dear you. Thought about all the reasons I had for not wanting to go -- would rather settle down at home for a week before more hectic travels, would rather not risk lung explosion, would rather catch up with the girls, would rather frisbee with the home on the Wednesday we'd get back, would rather not waste money and exploit the land and indulge in so many lavish things, would rather not as you say beach and drink and tan. But none of those reasons factored you in and come to think of it, there's not too much I would love more than to unwind on a beautiful island with you and spend some time away, because we won't have so many chances together anymore and I could never buy back time I wish we'd spent discovering someplace new. Today you told me of losing conscious control of your faculties and then I started experiencing the same of my lungs, can you see those hands that held you back? I heard the sounds of hell, of you being mastered though you were died for to be freed. When will we snap out of this. If I say these that you don't want to listen to, you wouldn't even hear anymore so I'm not sure what can be said to or done for you but by God alone and when you ask where He's at I also wish He'd be slightly more obvious and severely more deafening for you and for me but maybe I can start with just simply being by you again and maybe when we're totally immersed in splendidly created seas we might for a moment together have no doubt about their Creator.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One Day I'll Fly Away

I want to see from Your side of the sky.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dear You

Tonight you told me of your account -- pieced together by your scattered recollections and your friends' filling in of the blanks -- of losing conscious control of your body that night. The heroic fantasies, the fake? real? seizing, cutting up your hands trying to climb out of the elevator, convincing your friends to hide in the bushes with you. Them not knowing to take you seriously. My stomach tied itself in a knot. I heard the sounds of hell. When will we be free.



Why are You silent?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Heart Halitosis

Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee

Jesus You breathe life
. You exhale power, freedom
. words laced with life
My speech
. rolls from razored tongue off unclean lips
. reeks of death and fang decay,
. the disease of mineralized sin
You said to extract it
. long before
. the festering yeasty build-up built up
I said no thank You
. my teeth are very useful and
. I rather enjoy the plaque.
. And look! The shiny destruction leaks. Fetid deceit,
. the rotted fruit of schemes and plots.

If You bottled Your saliva, I should invest...
A life supply, stat!
I hear Jesus-spit is good for eyesight too.
I can see the shiny TM already... JesuSpit!
Fresher breath by frenching Jesus! Imagine that...

Salt. Didn't people used to brush their teeth with it before toothpaste?
You said to let our conversations be full of grace and seasoned with salt.

I thought about divine mouthwash after feeling the burn of a too-long swig of Listerine. My tongue is still a little numb. I imagined each little bacterium catching on fire... Serves 'em right. Gosh I wish I could connect all these brain farts into a long... melodious... sonnet (what were you thinking?? ew!) instead of little toots.

Mad respect for writers of spoken word or freestylers, iuno how you guys do it like that. (Cue oldschool DCT: How do they do that?? H-ha-ha-how do they do that?) HAHAHA!

Ooo that's it! I'm gonna write a sonetto. Here's Brooke Fraser on the writing of "Hosanna."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Adri & I pulled off our BME220 presentation this morning about drug delivery & molecular imprinted therapeutic contact lenses and gosh I'm glad that's over with.

IV end-of-the-year debrief today was the highlight of my day.
"You know... As I've gotten to know you better this past year I definitely see glimpses of how God has wired you in ways and capacities that haven't been realized here..."

-- Savina
My staff worker said this among many other disarming mind-reads laced with Spirit. Her exhortations to reclaim the joy, identity, & security which she recognized I'd lost were much needed. Granted I constantly misplace all of the above, and have seriously needed to be robbed of my sin... But when I've missed the part about trading all those sorrows for the light & easy (I feel like that's a yogurt?) it's been really... I don't know the word. Can't wait to feel like me again.

These past few days I've logged onto gmail only to see a friend's status "hate my life" and a few days later "hate my life still" and I'm not so sure why that weighs on my heart so, and why it's like... nails on chalkboard to see those words next to the red dot. Maybe because I'm often so tempted to say the same... Though everyone expects me to (and I also wish I could) just suck it up and get on with life. Why can't we see past our stuck-ness... It does suck to be there but today is new and merciful.

Very curious... The people that God's introduced into my life here.

Lord give me contact lenses for the soul. Ones imprinted for sustained residence time, for permanence in the tear film, for steady Truth drug delivery.

Did some major trespassing today to retrieve my frisbee that was thrown over a 12' fence. Got yelled at and apologized and called her "Ma'am." Where did that come from?? Better watch myself in case "mammy" or "nyge" slip. And yea the Ultrastar was worth it.

M2M's spicy philly cheese steaks are really fantastic, esp with Shawn & Viv. And mango mochi ice cream.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Becoming Esther

The end of year 1 is nearly here. Some days the coming of the end seemed... one really elusive carrot. How did we make it this far...?

A year ago there was confidence that this would mean that college was at least 25% through. A year ago, life (or at least school) was comfortably measured, boxed in. All was to the plan. And by "the" I meant Esther Liu's.

Did you know her then...
Esther Liu of Naperville, IL?

You'd have to squint to see her now
after the layers of comfortably calloused heart
have lost out to holy sandpaper
because in her place is the beginning of someone new.

Thank God for new.
New skin stings like new.
Raw & freshly sensitive.

Follow me... A tiny glimpse into how becoming came to be.

This article by Charo & Paul Walker spoke to me of

Bootcamp & the wilderness.
Wandering &; wondering His will.
Harlem & the harem.

I have always been amazed at the kind of preparation that the future queen Esther had to go through... Imagine the possibilities! One year set aside for one sole purpose - becoming all you can be for the [O]ne you love the most. Precious time to cultivate beauty, to make an investment in education and etiquette, to strengthen virtue and build character.
As waiting relates to singleness... I think of Simba and his impatient song, "I Just Can't Wait to be King" but I could write another whole essay on how I am just the same when it comes to queening.
The preparation of Esther reminds me of that precious time between the awakening of desire... For many, this time is seen as nothing more than a time of waiting... sitting on the shelf while life passes them by... on the bench while others play...

They do not realize that they are wasting the most important time of their lives, they are robbing themselves of great joy and reward, they are robbing their future husbands of a more virtuous woman, and they are robbing God of a servant through whom He desires to do great things...
To look back and remember how God enabled her to wait on Him and that He was faithful... Still an even greater joy for her to know that her time as a single woman was also a time of seeking God and being faithful to Him and His purpose. That she did not for one moment wish to flee that state, but desired only to trust in God and wait upon His gracious sovereignty.
Haha I only wish I could say I haven't had to fight the constant urge to run. But I'm thankful that for the many times I've caved, there've been refuges: the sanctuaries, the suburb, the moms, the sisters, the teachers, the brother, the letters, the burritos, so many more. And at last when I come to my senses, and give in rather than up... there's entrance into joy, the Refuge & wing of God Himself. For the times He's brought a smothering mothering shelter to cover me before I could/would crawl into it myself, I'm also grateful.

As for the wait, in-the-moment-unpleasant preparation, & grueling slimy treatments that are sometimes necessary when God takes to sanding and buffing calloused hearts, they write
It should not be considered a mere circumstance or a miserable curse from which one should try desperately to flee.
Rather, the season -- though it seems an awfully in-between time before life resumes, and though its treatments and lessons can be rather unpleasant -- is as much a God-ordained part of life and part of the Plan as any other. And by "the" I mean His.
A time to learn of God and of ourselves.
A time to discover who we are in Christ and to grow in Christlikeness.
A time to be zealous for good works and involved in ministry to others.
So I just realized that a number of the writings I had in mind to link to when I said "follow me" aren't publicly viewable. Hah... to both of you who read this thing... you'll just have to ask if you want to know.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Psalm 119:32

I will RUN in the
way of your commandments when
you enlarge my heart!

High School

I used to wake up right about now.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


A hard food to give away, in more ways than one.

Would you like an apple, ma'am. I dug around my purse for the mid-afternoon snack I'd thrown in that morning. I had passed it up in favor of apple hi-chew. I held it out to her in all its shiny unwashed (the sticker was still on) glory though she seemed to be busy searching the floor of the subway for loose change.

I have no teeth, she said.

Of course -- why hadn't I noticed before? Retracting the apple, I hastily apologized and exited the train. A hungry man stood near the stairs asking for food and money... I offered him the fruit, but he also did not have any teeth.

A few hours later I was on my way home. I realized that all I'd had to eat that day was that pack of hi-chew... But the apple just did not look appetizing anymore, not that its appearance that changed since the morning except for a few nicks and bruises from bumping around in my bag all day.

I set it on my desk -- that was Tuesday. Later I decided on a spontaneous visit to Baltimore. Josh had asked me to overnight some stuff in the mail, I thought I'd do better. =P I barely made the Tuesday night train. And so much for my 4:45AM Thursday return to NY... I ended up staying in Bmore until Saturday evening. I like crabs. The non-STD kind.

The Amtrak lost power on my way back -- does that ever happen? We sat and waited for 80 minutes for another train to come so we could transfer. Saturday night I got back and the apple on my desk was looking pretty disgusting, though by then it was probably a lot softer than it had been Tuesday.

Next time I'll be armed with apple sauce... and spoons.

Praise God we do not always feel good and rewarded about our acts, intentions, attempts of generosity and service. It really is a mercy unto us...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Itchy & Scratchy Show

If my head explodes,
There is gonna be pollen
Freaking EV'RYWHERE.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


How do you capture a soul in 250 words and sell it to a university?

Pearl pleads please please do it.
I promise to try, but is that ever enough?
No. Fight. Left.

Why have You opened these doors?
Shall I charge.
Or will You slam them shut again.
I feel... caution and curiosity.
You. Baffle. Me.

Stop tickling me! Ha... ha... ow.
Stah -- Ah HA -- Stop --It -- That -- Pickles -- Ha - Ow -- How.

Here We go again. The uppercase is for You, Emmanuel. Because You're WithBeforeAboveBehindBesideAroundTheGroundBeneathInside me.

When the dust settles again, just let me sing hallelujah still.
Even if it's a cold and broken whimper.

I must have You!
If nothing else in this world
I must have You.

Praise You for laments and losses. Lest I love my life my self and my trash too much. Pastor spoke on Psalms 90-91 Sunday, and I remembered that morning You with Irene and I sat only a trimester ago, marveling at the way the light bounced off the icicles outside. We rested by these same words. You have a funny way of digging up skeletons. Maybe I will learn this time around.

Making You my Home. Not a cop-out, retreat, escape -- at least, not the way I've made it my last resort. Entering Your wing is active, forward trust. Entrust. My life and heart are Yours. I was made for You.

So I can ask You God to relent and deliver, and You might even deem the prayer good and acceptable... But is this enough? Even those without the help of Your Spirit can cry to be delivered from their trials. So instead I ask for this (God! take these trembling hands before I shrink from Your touch again, hear my shaky words before I try to swallow them back): let my affections be purified in this furnace. Grant me a teachable heart, to learn sooner rather than... not soon. To abandon this life and all its temporary glories and causes, to find in You full and satisfying all in all in all... A stilled and swaddled: child in her Father's arms. I knew no such picture in this life it must be You.

Funny thing about swaddles... I feel freer already.
Whatever's next... Just keep me near.

Tomorrow I'll write of the apple.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stuffy Face

Tickle my itchy eyeballs.
I inhale pop rocks.

Allergic to spring
But addicted all the same.
Please give me Zyrtec.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Poor Tea Infuser

It must be custom
for Germans to break your glass-
ware then put it back.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Be Still

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 "Raphah," and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!"
11 The LORD of hosts is with us . . .

* to
sink, relax, be disheartened, drop, abate, withdraw, cease striving, let go, abandon, be quiet.

Matthew 14
30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him . . . those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Father You are King over the flood
I will be still, and know You are God

Find rest, my soul
In Christ alone
Know His power
In quietness and trust...

what i meant to say is that
some times i just need to
yel low g chat dot a lit tle
fade to grey on AIM a lit tle
i dle sink and drown a lit tle
a ban don all the trash i love
be dis heart ened dropped laxed a lit tle
feel the ter ror of per fi dy
to reach a gain for the Trust wor thy
One stan ding there all a long
the still ness shouts His God ness

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dora's Playground No More

Lots of thoughts lately on propriety, not so much in the moral/behavioral sense of what is correct, but in regards to what is wise, prudent, safe, honorable.

What should be done when one and another develop mutual interest?

So many variables to consider... So complicated.

On second thought, it's very simple. It is not time for me to date. And while it's perfectly natural (made for good but inherently fallen) for me to like someone, there is a correct time and place for those desires to awaken. To sustain a "special" friendship without stated intentions or non-intentions of pursuit seems to me rather naive, if not foolish and cowardly and non-committal. Comfortable, for sure... But not without consequences. I feel like I wouldn't be able to be actively involved in the life of someone I like without having to dangerously tiptoe around my overdrive, without unfairly binding him by my expectations. Maybe I just don't compartmentalize well enough. To sustain the same friendship while claiming no further intentions seems equally strange, like it is sure to backfire. I don't think I (should) want my person to be enjoyed by someone any more than he enjoys his other friends... outside of a committed relationship.

I am fleshly and desire accordingly.
Desires are manageable... when everything else is.
I cannot count on having sensible circumstances that allow me to resist temptation.
I must flee and cut off. Must I flee and cut off?

This is my heart...
deceitful above all things
prone to wander and stumble.

It gropes around in the dark
& learns by trial and error
though those growing pains would be needless
if I only take Him at His word.

I wonder if my heart were more teachable,
would I still be here.
quae miserrima.

I need to run,
but I need You to show me
that it is out of obedience and correct fear.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Queen Esther

Intentions, intentions.

We have so many.

Must depend on calling.

Must not demand unnecessary answers from God
To fit His plans into my desires.

His purposes are more important than my having clarity.
Clarity for the sake of knowing?? Doesn't simplify anything, does it...

Esther was a queen... of excuses.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's Not Absence

Hidden depths of sin,
Hidden why's of suffering,
Hidden modes of grace.

Monday, April 7, 2008

To 21218?

Well spring break isn't for another two weeks for me. Uber lame, since everyone else will be gearing up for finals and finishing up the term by then.

Josh and I talked about visiting him at JHops for part of break. Guess I must have been thinking about it before falling asleep because I dreamed I was there... And there was a carnival for some reason. But anyway, part of it went something like this: Maybe it was prophetic ;)

I ran into a few familiar faces and maneuvered a few "Esther! Where've you been all year! It's almost summer and this is the first time I've run into you on campus..." and delighted in $6 burritos at the Chipotle by Charles Commons.

Later that day I somehow met John Latting, the Director of Ugrad Admissions. We exchanged courteous pleasantries; he didn't seem to recall who I was and the ordeal he had put me through in this last whirlwind of a year. I bid him goodbye and smugly quipped "So nice to finally put a face to the name. Now I can hate you more completely." And I reveled at the look of horror that crossed his face as the magnitude of his injustices dawned on him. Unlikely, since he's probably actualy cruel and stoic.

And as I turned and walked away from him in this very self-aware dream, I wondered to myself why I had said such a thing when I really didn't hate him. I'd reminded myself many times that the man was just doing his job. Although it was... a very dick job he did. My next thought -- well, realization really -- was along the lines of "Esther, you're going straight to hell," the repartee to which naturally followed as I nibbled on an elephant ear: "Oh well, better make it worth it."

I awoke from the dream highly amused at my very witty and pagan subconscious.

(To which my next thought -- well, realization really -- was, "Esther, you're going straight to hell").

Oh boy... Lord have mercy.

The Soul of Wit

I would like to start
Simple drills in brevity --
Not my strongest suit.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

More on Work & Play

"There is nothing better for a person than that he should... find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God" (Ecclesiastes 2:24).
So meaningful work, or at least the meaning part, is apparently a gift.

Without that significance, the only thing that keeps me at work is fear. It's a sad strife.

At death,
Buddha: "Strive unceasingly."
Christ: "It is finished."

I loved those verses from Romans 5 once. These days I feel more like testing demands perseverance, perseverance requires character, character allows hope, and hope sets ya up for another whoppin letdown.

Why so inclined to feel victimized? Am I actually so virtuous? Powerless? Probably not as much as I'm attracted to think. Why the martyr complex... To be long on love, grace, humor, compassion, patience. Short on pride.

God I could plow through all this... as to You. But I need to know that what I'm doing is from You! Why, if You won't lift the storm, won't You increase my belief? I'm clearly not enough, come and be strength. God O God...

I hardly even suffer.
I have not persisted as Job.
I have not endured the cross.

Perspective, please.
Come and be light.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


IreneEmeth Learned today that je suis excite is more accurately translated as i'm aroused than as i'm excited, similar to how embarassada in Spanish is actually the feminine modifier meaning pregnant, or how mahal kita in Tagalog means je t'aime, te amo, I love you, 我爱你, but is understood in Malay as we are very expensive (though Love often is ultra costly). And Pearl I'm sure you'll be delighted to learn that eehee apparently means to pee in Tagalog? Filipino? so calling you Peehee is now twice the fun. I wonder how many people I've told I was turned on while lost in translation.

With the arrival of Emeth "Capri" the cute little miammy bread bundle of April foolery (future JKoh?), Mrs. Sun is no longer an embarassed woman. il n'est pas grand! HOORAY!! Can't wait to meet the lil guy.

Learning new languages, or even little brain fart phrases in other languages, is too much fun for me. Someone told me once you live a new life for each language you learn and it's occurred more than once to me that maybe when we do this we begin to undo what we did or at least remedy what we scattered at Babel. Koine Greek, Medieval Latin, maybe even Biblical Hebrew. French, Italian. Mandarin, Taiwanese. Japanese, Atayal. Paiwan, Amis. Worthy pursuits? Holy burden? or flights of ADD?

I can't remember why I thought I could stand doing BME, it is so much work... And that's about all it is to me, although for another (maybe you) it could be a lot more meaningful and maybe even redeemable. Guh I'm hoping and praying with all self-interest (oh and for your good too I guess) for a yes to p-relgoog (err... okay I'm not quite as aroused by these languages) and the legos and Odwalla supply and NYC residence that would come to you with such an answer. We should converse in dead languages more often, goof. I love you for putting "fluent in conversational Latin" on your resume.

What if I could also find something, some major, some vocation so d'lovely that work and play would be one and the same? I suppose many pondered these questions even while in high school; I unfortunately am way behind since without receiving (or at least without recognizing) the soggy fleece I'd feebly asked for I had mostly only considered factors such as Joshuaness (ballerness, leetness, proximity to my closest genetic match, distance from my two favorite genetic donors) and Asianness (lucrativeness, pragmaticalness, pedigree, nerdiness)...... Mallory I miss those days of incorporating Words of the Day into our convos each day and of practicing seducing each other in French and Italian during Latin class and promising to learn and e-mail each other in both of those when you went off to Yale and I to JH. But now you're there and I'm here, and we're both not learning either life!

I guess this substandard interim is an okay time and place to consider all this and discover that maybe I'm not cut out for your major after all Josh, though I have to thank you for being contagiously and genuinely passionate about it. I'd like to love something on my own and infect others with its contagion. If I were where you are and paying what you pay to be there how long would it have been before I realized my tedium? How long now that I have will I still stick it through? How much of it is even up to me?

Anyhow what if I were so arrested by vision that discipline would be more than just drudgery? I suppose this is what makes QTs bearable and psets un; the latter takes similar effort but to me lacks purposefulness delightfulness (purpose delight?) and d'loveliness.

I mean seriously! How does circuitry conjure any of that.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


my heart, o God!

Help me to ask not who is my neighbor, but where?

Luke 10:37b

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Gotta head for O'Hare in 3 hours. My sleep schedule is so wacky!

Whenever I come home, I always never want to leave again. Guess that's what makes it home.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How to Read Bread, 2.

Happy birthday, Gram!!

阿媽 was my earliest example of piety. The imprints are deep in my memory. Every morning I could count on seeing her strain her eyes over her Chinese Bible, with Hiragana notes pencilled in here and there. Every night she stooped her ailing back to kneel on her arthritic knees by her bedside to pray, before おやすみなさい!

What is it that draws her again and again day after day to the well? Unless it's thirst for water, it makes no sense to me. I have not the discipline. Lord, show me my thirst, and let me drink deeply.

No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne—everything—to rescue the one he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that have come true in real life! 
You see the best thing about this Story is—it’s true.
I stumbled upon The Jesus Storybook Bible the other day and could finished it cover to cover in a single sitting, with laughter and tears. What?! I felt so silly for buying a *picture* book for myself and sillier for giggling out loud alone and silliest for being moved to tears but I couldn't put it down. It was compelling and alive in a way that I pray the (adult? real? unabridged? lol) Bible will be to me some soon day. I felt like I was hearing the Story for the first time so clearly. Growing up, the book was to me an anthology of many stories, or a manual to consult only occasionally.
He would be called “The Word” because he himself would be God’s Message. God’s Message translated into our own language. Everything God wanted to say to the whole world—in a Person.
God, help me to read the Bible as one Story. To thirst and hunger and hang on every word that proceeds from You. And on You, Jesus, the Word enfleshed. Thank You for Grandma and for another year of faithfulness, hers and Yours. And for children's books. Could it all be true?? The Grand Fairy Tale? O God if it's true, sign me up, and give me faith like a child!

Monday, February 18, 2008

How to Read Bread, 1.

Wondering where to start, I began looking over my shelves... It was there I made an unsettling discovery. I had more books on Greek grammar than I did on the life of Christ.

It was incriminating to realize that He who had given so much occupied so small a shelf in my life. In the quiet courtroom of my heart, I was suddenly the defendant... The questions were indicting. What had I been doing in seminary?

Had I been learning how to live my life, or had I simply been learning how to use my gift?
What had I been pursuing those four years? A Savior, or simply a skill?

Had I been reading the Bible the way Van Gogh's sister read books, "to borrow therefrom the force to stimulate my activity"?

Had I read it, searching for principles, to make my life in some way more successful?
Had I read it, searching for promises, to make my life in some way more safe?
Had I read it, searching for proof texts, to give certainty to my own faith or make it more defensible to others?
Had I read it, searching for preaching material, because that was my job?
Had I read it, searching for power, for whatever reason?
Or had I read it, as Van Gogh had read his books, searching for the man who wrote it?

(Ken Gire, Windows of the Soul, 172-173)

I've totally been Van Gogh's sister a thousand times.