Wednesday, May 26, 2010
on monday, among conversation topics that ranged from date roulette and road trip destinations, the topic of whether we believe in miracles came up. not just any miracles.. but miracles in which teeth turn into gold and children are healed from eating manna found in bibles. yeah. right?! and to think that i cost my parents thousands to get all my teeth to line up when god coulda just poked around in there for free. (just kidding)
my initial answer was this: it doesn't matter whether or not you believe in miracles. the deeper and more fundamental question asks whether you believe our god is all powerful and possesses strength beyond our comprehension. if that is true, then the question of miracles comes secondary. it's kinda like asking someone if they believe bunnies are the cutest animals in the world. unless the person actually believes in the existence of said creature, then there is no point in arguing its cuteness to begin with.
this morning as i was reading, i came across a passage that really jived with some of the things i've been thinking about recently. because my mind is slightly ADD, i sat there thinking about the verse, my life, the isrealites, the way my hands smelled like cat food, and of miracles and gold flakes appearing on bibles.. all at the same time. amidst all that, i had a minor mental wrestling match over the way the bible can be interpreted. ie. how should my mind and heart be set when i read the word? do i read it as a personal love letter from god to me that everyone touts? do i read it as a message to the rest of the world? can it be that i might be too selfish in the way i approach the word? oreo... too much thinking. but then that's when i connected a few dots and concluded that this book is no mistake.
think of the millions of hearts that have searched through these same words that i now have sitting in my lap. the lives that were changed by the same passages i read this morning. those same words speaking to ME as i sit in the middle of this small tiled room. hOly cowsers, right?!? that's pretty freaking amazing. and i think this might have something to do with why the bible is called the living word. this is a miracle.
do i believe in the possibility of gold flakes appearing across the pages of my bible? oreo... do i believe that god can touch lives in ways miraculous, supernatural and unexplainable? to heal the sick, protect in times of danger, give hope to the hopeless.. yes. there's a danger in putting god in a box, but when you believe that he is god of this universe, miracles shouldn't be too hard a concept to grasp.
also, when read the word.. metaphorical blocks of gold will fall out of the pages. >_<
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
..well, mostly because she is in china and does not have access to her blogger account >_< if you do not yet know brenda, she is pretty amazing, wants to revolutionize the way we expend our natural resources, and can dance better than yo momma. please leave any comments for her here = ]
Greetings from Guangzhou, China. In my first few days in China, I've both been surprised and unsurprised at what I've seen so far. Surprised that people seem pretty content where they are...or at least seem to be content on the outside, despite their working conditions. Surprised that there are so many luxury vehicles on the road. Surprised, yet unexpected, that the environment is so dirty here: roads, walls, buildings, the air, the vehicles, most people not wearing helmets, people always jay-walking across busy 10-lane street (mom and I even did this today with our guides..not my choice).
Well, I guess there's a lot more to say about what I'm surprised about or didn't expect about China, from my two days in Guangzhou. One thing for sure is that everything is bigger. More people. HUGE malls for one niche market (like jewelry). Huge streets. Tons of E-bikes (makes me excited as a transportation major to see them first-hand). But one of the things that comes with “big” is the devaluing of the individual, just like a single item in a Wal-Mart store. People aren't as polite. They don't say “excuse me” or “sorry” if they bump into you while walking. Of course, that's the case with strangers anyway. The bosses at the factory here that we're visiting are nice, humble people. In fact, one of them is even a believer! PTL!
Today while at the factory office, looking through some inventory, the younger boss said to the older one, who is a believer, “So this cross is the symbol of you Chr1st1ans.” The older quickly replied, “Actually, this cr0ss represents how JCee died. He died for our s1ns. Just like yours and mine. S1ns separate humans from the Big man, so JCee died to bridge the gap.” Basically shared the g0spel in front of the whole office (~5 people including my mom). Amazing! ….(and honestly, I was ashamed of myself....for many reasons)
Speaking of which, this is my first time experiencing being on the China-side of the internet. It feels a little like playing taboo and speaking in passive voice...haha. I felt a litte paranoid these two days about having read my email from the Acacia list or blogs that I subscribe to (blogspot only works via google reader) that have lots of content they might not condone. (I'm actually kinda prnoid of whether this blog will even go through. o_O) Hopefully, I can make it to SH without having to pull a James Bond. (ok..I admit it, I'm paran01d...but that's because I've never been here before!)
...Well, anyway, back to my impressions. China, or at least Guangzhou, is full of old among new and new among old, both environmentally and mentally. I even got to experience a swe4t-sh0p. The conditions, to us, would seem below standard...(Disclaimer: I'm not generalizing all factories here) ..dirty walls, ripped carpet, dirty windows, cigarette filled air, dangerously sharp objects on the floor, yet they still need the internet to function properly. At least most of the workers are over 18, that means they had a high school education. (G0v Funding is only available UP TO highschool.) Mentally, people are knowledgeable about technology, but are behind in first-world etiquette. Lowered individual value, along with lack of education, results in an apathetic satisfaction with how things are.. work hard, get some money, eat, live, maybe move up or get more education. But what am I saying...if they're not where they're at, how can the rest of the world afford low labor costs only found here? At the same time, education shouldn't be limited or discouraged in a totally academic sense. I mean if everyone in the world had great education, maybe we'd have enough ingenuity to make robots that did all the labor or have the underprivileged, economically disadvantaged, or industry apprentices do it.
Despite the conditions, perhaps bearable for them since they are used to the hot-humid weather, it seems the camaraderie among the workers is strong. A few take classes after work, such as for accounting or other extended learning opportunities. At 5:30pm, outside the 10 story building, it looks like school has just gotten out since most of the workers are in their late teens/early twenties, with a majority wearing like blue button-ups and blue slacks..girls walking in groups chattering away, each wearing a different bright colored accessory, glittery shoes, or the latest hairstyle..a few motorcycles slowly rumble past the walking (maybe one with a helmet on)... I asked the younger boss how old most of them were. “18 to 30”, he said. “What happens after you're 30?” I asked. “You become a boss,” he said with a grin. The younger boss is 32.
While my observations are certainly not representative of all of Ch1na, I'm glad I have the opportunity to come here and see everything I've heard about this place first-hand. It's certainly eye-opening, yet wonderful. Again, I'm amazed by the human race...and of course it's Creat0r. Cultures are so different, expectations different, yet I can see that we all desire improvement.
Monday, May 17, 2010
fast forward 10 or 15 years.. he's still a little punk. but even though we're separated by 4 years, to my surprise, we have so much to talk about. i love to hear about his new school projects, he loves to hear about my <3 issues.. i love to tease him about his emo-mushiness, while he delivers pep talks to me from the floor of his beach side garage.
love my brother. just thought i'd share that with you today.
Friday, May 14, 2010
i must've been the last girl on earth who didn't own a pair of rain boots. but.... here they are now! ..just gotta wait another year before i can actually wear them >_< i love rain. and this is just gonna make rainy days that much better!
to laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
to weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
to reach out is to risk involvement,
to expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
to place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
to love is to risk not being loved in return,
to live is to risk dying,
to hope is to risk despair,
to try is to risk failure.
but risks must be taken because the greatest
hazard in life is to risk nothing.
the person who risks nothing, does nothing,
has nothing, is nothing.
william arthur ward .1921-1994.
how much of our christian faith rides on risk taking? including everything from reaching out to those in need, sharing in fellowship and community, witnessing, living a life that's real and true to the word... here's the thing. as many verses as i've memorized or apologetic lectures and sermons i've listened to or blogs i follow or bible studies i've gone to, if i am not mobilized in my faith, then all that is just [knowledge]. it makes me feel good about myself that i've come to understand some of the greatest truths of this world but maybe it's really a trap that can be so devastating to fall into. our faith is not meant to be confined to our own selves.. it's supposed to be taken to the ends of the earth! and i guess the test of whether i really believe that lies in my willingness to take a couple risks.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Speak in this close communion
Though this hour seems timeless still
I wait for your words that bid me come
The will when my tomorrow comes
To follow when this song is gone
So I await the words that you say
I open my life
I am longing just to hear these words
That you say, that you say
Free my torn heart from this world
Renew my mind and form my will
Teach me to wholly offer
More than words that I can sing
So I become the song I bring
And here pursue your heart
So my life will tell of who you are
Can I be a channel of your love
A reflection of your light
And live to bring you praise and serve you, Lord
Saturday, May 8, 2010
#120 The Boundless Podcast
"when they see any sign of emotion, they assume that all logic has ceased."
"heaven forbid, we may actually want a family, and eventually i might not even want to work at all and i want to have my kids!"
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
i sometimes forget how good it is to talk to my parents. yes they badger me and make fun of me and threaten to not let me through the front doors the next time i come home alone.. they aRe my parents afterall ^_< but somewhere intermixed among the silliness is love and good counsel and a commitment to support and pray for me. makes me feel nice and fuzzy inside = ]
i hope to be like them when i'm older and have stinky little kiddies someday..
unfortunately while i was in fresno, i got a message from one of the ladies who also lives upstairs... apparently i left for the weekend and locked my bunny out of my room.
i've got much to learn....