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.


So I managed to scoot my way down to U of I with Heather, Selina, James, Jon for a spontaneous visit to Peehee. It's a joy to have people who are joyed by your mere presence. Crazy good talks and times, especially getting to catch up with Jon and Timmy Shiou and man God really worked His goodness in those convos. Such goofy boys on that floor... Late night karaoke and fire alarms. & I really like Tim's church.

I love spontaneity and good surprises.

Jessica & Iris picked me up from O'Hare to surprise Mom & Dad at home Thursday. I rang the doorbell, it was almost midnight... Saw the lights flicker and I could guess what was going on inside. An muffled exchange probably along the lines of "Who could be coming this late?" -- "I don't know, you get it, I'm already in my nightgown." Dad opened the door and mumbled "Hm, surprise surprise!" Jessica giggled, he thanked her and she left. He closed the door and attempted a hug, which was beyond awkward because...

He's never done it before.
And it was really more of a smush my face into his armpit dealio than a hug.

Such really surreally good times this weekend. These people make it damn near impossible to leave. I don't do well with goodbye hugs, or goodbyes in general. I really tried my best to avoid it too. Just so I wouldn't have to pull away. Haha I'm such a cheese.

As it usually goes when I'm home, mumsy's taken every opp to lecture me. She says Josh has forgotten how he came to be allowed to attend his college. He's ascribed God's glory to dad, she says...

Can he really have forgotten all the anger, the nights he cried and days he had no appetite...

Screwtape must be overjoyed.

Is there any hurt I've suppressed that way? Any way I've tried to beautify and gloss over difficult images that I'd rather not remember because of the pain of rejected love, intentional neglect...

Let me never forget that this world never delivers or lives up to or satisfies. It never is true.
Let me live in forgiveness but not denial.

Can You free him, let him enjoy You again & know that You are not as earthly Fathers? free him from the sins of his father? free dad from the sins of his?

Lord break their hold on me too.

Well my RCF sg leader is online I just introduced Albert to Hello and wow, I really used to photodocument my life! I brought my camera to NYC in September but it's collecting dust. I guess I just have no desire to remember this year in pictures.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Dozen Things I Enjoy

(in no particular order... okay fine, i confess i started out ROYGBIV...)

1) Brita
    Safe(r) water!

2) Moleskine 18-Month Weekly Notebook Planner
    For planning & journaling my life away. Highly recommended for July 2008 - Dec 2009.

3)Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
    Soothing cooling relief for wind-chapped lips.

4) Ciao Bella Maccha Kako Yo Gelato
    Green Tea Ice Cream with White Chocolate Chips -- Never thought I'd say this, but it's better than Maeda-En!

5) Contact Lenses
    Where would I be without my contacts? (There is an answer... It's crashing into poles and people and Polish people.)

 6) Compact TruGrip ESV Bible
    The $5 bible goes wherever I go.

7) Discraft Ultra-Star 175
    We refuse to play with Wham-O's.

8) Google Reader
    New fav aggregator! Norman said it would be life-changing... Thanks man.

9) 0.38mm Pilot G-2
    Great pen! Retractable too... Writes better (better grip) than Hi-Tec-C.

10) Husband
    My husband is black. We like to snuggle in bed.

11) LG CU500
    My cell phone, looks just like the picture except in scratchy purple. It's survived many a beating; I drop my phone precisely once a day.

12) 30-Day Unlimited Metrocard
    Subway/bus hopping fun & making strangers smile when you offer them free swipes!

Are such pleasures too esoteric?

Thank you God for both the simple things and the luxuries that make this life more enjoyable. Help me not to get caught up with accumulating such things when some of my neighbors are so in need, and as having You is already more than enough.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Lotus Effect

Although it grows best in muddy waters, the leaves and flowers of the lotus plant stay clean. I learned about this today when wiki-ing biomimetics stuff for Tu's lab. The lotus is a symbol of purity in many cultures, and its surface is effectively unsticky for anything (don't know if this includes sticky surfaces... like duct tape).

Argh... LORD, my heart is so sticky for the muck of this world. Free me from their rationale, their values, their systems which they tell me are better than You and better than Yours. Free me so that for me, to live would be Christ Your Son! May He appear, in all the sticky seduction, all the clingy lies, all the gloppy gluey godlessness, all the more desirable & alluring. LORD increase my affinity for You. Tape me to the altar, God this living sacrifice doesn't want to crawl off and get stuck in, tricked and trapped by the world anymore.

Lucia Del C

I have a child! :P

Lucia shares my birthday and lives in Guatemala with her parents, two brothers and a sister. I've taken up the privilege of sponsoring her through World Vision.

Please pray for her life (and for me to be a faithful sponsor/intercessor). Though even very basic provisions and opportunities bring their family great joy, pray that Lucia and her family will someday have the true satisfaction of knowing Christ!