2010 Reflections

I know I don’t blog a lot, but I feel that the last day of the year deserves some sort of recognition.

I did have an epic year that I should give glory to God for 😉

I praise God for:

– Helping me through my crazy last semester of college.
– Giving me wonderful music professors and friends to help me through my very first solo recital!
– 4 GREAT years at the University of the Ozarks, of which I graduated from this year in May.
– Providing a place for me to stay at no cost (while I was job-hunting) during my first 3 months in Pittsburgh.
– Bringing me through a crazy but educational job-hunting experience (I have gone through countless interviews, many rejections and 2 jobs and resignations before I was given this job that I have now, which I LOVE!).
– Helping me find a wonderful family to live with.
– Giving me more and more photography opportunities!
– Giving me a FIANCE!!! 😀

The New Year has not even begun, but I can tell that it’s going to be a good year (I’m getting MARRIED in 6 months! ;P )

Yayy! 2011, I’m ready for you! *Leaps*


Happy New Year! Have a God-Filled 2011! 😀

I Am Blessed!

Some of you may know that the past months since I graduated have been pretty tough for me. I struggled a little financially because I did not have work after I graduated (but thank God for Joel and my parents, who willingly supported me during that period of time!). I struggled emotionally, as it was hard leaving Arkansas, my home for 4 years, to go to a city that was new to me. And I also struggled spiritually, as I dealt with God’s plan for my future.

During that brief dry spell of mine, I was taught, shown and reminded of many things, one of which is that I am a terrible “life-controller.” In fact, I was reminded that I’m not supposed to be controlling my life in the first place. It was a painful, but fruitful process that I learned (and am still learning) to let go, and let God.

Since then, the dry spell has recently been showered with some “rain”! In the past two weeks, I have been blessed with:

– A new job that would allow me to stay in the US to work for a year!

– Random odd jobs that will provide me with small supplementary income (that is, nevertheless, still income!)

– New friends in Pittsburgh.

– Closer friendships in Pittsburgh.

– A possible new (and affordable!) place to stay in September!

– And.. A FIANCE!

I just want to take this time and credit all these blessings to my heavenly Father. It is by His grace that I have been given all these things!

On to more “learning” now! Ahhhh! God, please hold me! 🙂

Your Love is a Song

“For me, melody is a constant. I am always buzzing with some hook or rhythm or idea… (for example, I’ve got an idea in my head now from when I went surfing a few hours ago). Sometimes I imagine the entire universe as a song, or an incredibly elaborate symphony- the sun is setting, there’s a kid staring at the evening train going by. People are falling in love. Fathers are apologizing to their sons after years of unspoken silence. Children are looking for the approval that only a mother can give. I think of life as an interwoven and interconnected masterpiece. It’s like Lauren Hill and Kierkegaard say- everything effects everything.

Alongside these beautiful, pure notes there are elements of horrific dissonance. Parts of the symphony where the musicians are not following the score. To our shame, ours is a world of slavery, bigotry, and hate. Of Rwanda. Of Darfur. These atonal catastrophes on our Darkwater Planet would destroy the song if they could. But love is a stronger song. Alongside the dissonance there is hope. There is forgiveness and joy singing alongside of hatred and despair. The song is still being written. Everyday we choose whether we will submit to the score to sing along with love.

When I found out about the string theory it made a lot of sense. I pictured all the universe vibrating. Some instruments are out of tune. Some are not following the conductor. But love conquers a multitude of errors. Your love can cover even the atrocities that I’ve committed in my own life, even the times when my actions are horribly out of tune. Yes, even these have been mercifully forgiven and brought into the song.

There are reoccurring themes in my life. Because I write about the things I’m wrestling, these themes often find themselves in multiple songs. I used fight against this concept. Now I see these songs as interconnected, sequels in a real life documentary. One idea that I’m continually wresting with is the concept that the creator of heavens and earth would love a wreck like myself.” (Jon Foreman from Switchfoot on his song, “Your Love is a Song”)

I hear you breathing in
Another day begins
The stars are falling out
My dreams are fading now, fading out

I’ve been keeping my eyes wide open
I’ve been keeping my eyes wide open

Oh, your love is a symphony
All around me
Running through me
Oh, your love is a melody
Underneath me
Running to me
All your love is a song

The dawn is fire bright
Against the city light
The clouds are glowing now
The moon is blacking out, blacking out

Oh, your love is a song

Your love is a song
Oh, your love is a song
Your love is strong

With my eyes wide open
I’ve got my eyes wide open
I’ve been keeping my hopes unbroken

Your love is my remedy
All your love is a song

Fulfillment vs. Fulfilling

“I must at all costs avoid the deadly delusion of self-fulfillment. I am hounded on all sides to be the person I was meant to be, to realize my full potential, and to explore the capabilities of the possible me. Even Christians have succumbed to this idea, and now I am told that in Christ I shall be able to fulfill myself as God intended, in contrast to being self-fulfilled by the world.”

“The error in all this is that the Bible nowhere talks about self-fulfillment. The only fullness the Bible knows about is the fullness of Christ. He is the fullness of God (Colossians 1:19; 2:9); He is the fullness of the church (Ephesians 1:22-23); and He is the fullness of everyone who draws fullness from Him.”

“Self-fulfillment is only another form of pride, and hardly different from the ignominious sin of Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12). We progressive moderns, however, have so covered the term with attractive clothing that it no longer appears as sin, but as an inherent right of the personality. Self-fulfillment is the expressing my full self, achieving my glory, and carving out my niche in life. Its ultimate goal is the coronation of self. Further, it is a fatal contradiction. How can everyone fulfill himself? The total exaltation of everybody would result in racial mania. The fulfillment of all my desires usually means the denial of someone else’s.”

“As a disciple, I must not talk of fulfillment; I must talk of fulfilling. When I received Christ, I received His fullness. As I live out His fullness, I flesh out His presence on this earth, I make full His manifestation to men (Ephesians 4:13). Instead of fulfilling myself, I fulfill Christ; I make Him the “Man above all,” the rightfully crowned King, “that in all things He might have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18)” (By W. Glyn Evans, from Daily with the King).

* * * * *

Some of you may know that, currently, I am somewhat struggling to find a job in Pittsburgh. I say “somewhat” because it really only has been a month since I started looking for a job here, and I have had several interviews (the reason it did not work out with most of these places is because of my Visa status, which only allows for me to work for a year), so it really hasn’t been that bad. Another thing that I have been struggling with is accepting that I will probably not get a working Visa for next year, which means that there’s a strong likelihood that I’ll be unemployed again in the near future. Because of this, I’ve been stressing myself about how my life and education is going to be a waste if I don’t find a job/get a working Visa, and how I am going to be so unfulfilled.

Reading this passage (several times) made me realize that my whining about being unemployed has been very proud! I know that some people may think that Mr. Evans here is being a little too extreme with his calling self-fulfillment a sin, but I have to say that I think he’s right. Time and time again, I fail to see that acknowledging the Gospel means that I also acknowledge that it is NOT about me; it is about Christ. Instead about complaining about how I need a job, or how I am not going to have a fulfilling future if I don’t get a working Visa, I should be asking myself about how can I fulfill Christ in my time of unemployment and how I can fulfill Christ if I don’t work next year.

Anyway, I just wanted to encourage those of you out there who are struggling to find self-fulfillment in your jobs, studies, families, relationships and others, to seek Christ and ways to fulfill Him. “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority” (Colossians 2:9-10). Isn’t that comforting? 🙂

The Reason for Everything

Up till yesterday, I was pretty pumped and optimistic about getting a second undergraduate degree from Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

Yesterday, I found out that Point Park University could not be an option for me anymore 😦

Basically, I was told a month ago that it is very possible for me to get a lot of scholarship from that University. However, yesterday, I was told that that information is incorrect, and that transfer students (at this point of time anyway) could only get about $5000 a year.

So, after finding that out, I basically spent the rest of the day stressing out about after-graduation options (silly of me, I know).

Thankfully, right before I went to bed, God gave me a (good) tight slap in the face 😛

He said to me in Romans 11:36, “Everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power, and everything is for his glory.”

Enough said, really 🙂

“Don’t worry about a thing, cos’ every little thing [is] gonna be alright” (Bob Marley).

THANK YOU!

On Friday afternoon, a couple of hours after I’ve arrived in Pittsburgh, Joel presented me with two big packages; they were my early Christmas and 21st Birthday gift (he said that he just couldn’t wait till next Friday to give it to me 😛 )

The first gift was a Canon Rebel XSi, which also came along with a HDSD card and card reader, as well as an Amazing Canon Macro lens. I screamed (for joy) like a little girl when I first saw it!! I could not believe that I was going to be the owner of that beautiful camera staring back at me!

The second present was a scrapbook full of letters and pictures from my loved ones back in Malaysia (and Singapore and Bangkok) and here in the States. I cried (for joy) like a little girl when I first saw it.. I felt SOOOOOOOOOOOOO LOVED!!!

So.. Thank you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and you..!

Thank you for contributing to my gifts.
Even more than that, thank you for loving me, believing in me, supporting me, and taking care of me.

Joel said that since I could not be home (home = Malaysia AND Ozarks) this Christmas/birthday, he was going to bring home to me, and he did. I can feel your love even from milesssssssssssss away.

I love every single one of you. Thank you for being in my life =)

Worship With Me

Today, when the ENTIRE church was kneeling and singing “Holy, Holy, Holy,” giving God the praise and the worship He DESERVES, I cried. I truly believe that this is what Our Father longs to see..

Praising;

Pouring out our hearts;

Worshiping, not just in song, but in our everyday lives;

TOGETHER.

Let us continue to strive towards that.

Us = The church = The body of believers = You

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