Reading the news and seeing all these articles about the Hong Kong Book Fair have been so upsetting. Maybe I’m delusional but I’ve always thought that the book fair should be somewhat of a cultural event – books: fiction, non-fiction, how-to’s, cook books, I just didn’t expect it to become a soft porn festival.
It’s sad enough that mainstream entertainment is in so many ways defined by how little girls can strip down to, but now the book fair?!
Let me be clear – it’s not my business if girls want to be porn stars, I just think it’s eye-roll-worthy in its extreme when they call themselves models. What are you modeling, exactly? Oh, oh, THAT bikini you’re barely keeping on. Sorry, I went blind for a second. What’s all that toothpaste dripping out of your mouth? Oh, just a part of modeling, is it? Okay, it just looks a lot like porn and I’m confused, that’s all. If you’re doing what a porn star does, just admit it and it won’t be so upsetting for people who care for where this city (or others, as I’m sure this is not just a HK thing) is headed. What kind of role model are we being for the generations to come? What are we supposed to tell our children? Models are basically porn stars, but not all, there are professional ones.. no wait, these are professional too, just, in a very different way. How can you tell the difference? You might have to judge their appearance…………………What?
In my household, being gay was, and is, no big deal. When my brother came out, we hugged him, said we loved him, and that was that…Just for the record, we don’t feel that there is actually anything alternative about our family values…I don’t consider myself just an ally to the LGBT community, I consider myself your family…if anyone, ever, tries to hurt you, I’m going to give them hell…There are people who have said that I’m being brave for being openly supportive of gay marriage, gay adoption, basically of gay rights. But with all due respect I humbly dissent. I’m not being brave. I’m being a decent human being. And I don’t think I should receive an award for that, or for merely stating what I believe to be true, that love is a human experience, not a political statement. However, I acknowledge that sadly we live in a world where not everybody feels the same. My family and I will help the good fight continue until that long awaited moment arrives, when our rights are equal and when the political limits on love have been smashed.
Yesterday I saw my friend ‘like’ a FB post of Anne Hathaway talking about gay rights. I have huge respect for those who love on their beloved and stand up for what they believe in, yet may I propose that love is not only loving on someone or something you agree with, but that real love comes when you love on that person regardless of whether you agree with what they stand for or not.
Please be patient and give me till the end of this post if you’re getting agitated and think this is a post about whether homosexuality is right or wrong, this is a post about what I thinklove is. Yes, you’ll have to brace yourself because I’m going to throw some Bible verses around, but I feel I can only explain my views if I share from my core values.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? – Matthew 4:43-44, 46-47
A little background information – back in those days, tax collectors were seen as the bad guys, perhaps just like the government of HK these days. My understanding of this passage is that it’s hard to be good to those you love, even those who you may think are evil do it: corrupt government officials probably still provide for their families, triad bosses may still apologize and ask forgiveness from their spouses, and so on. The real question is: what about the unlovable? What about those you don’t agree with? Continue reading →
I have this friend who can be unbelievably annoying, rude, self-centered, stubborn, and as a person who gives off this vibe, shameless. I quite often ask myself why I’m friends with someone like this and it usually boils down to: I need and should be a bigger person than this; not because I’m great and amazing, but because I can be as – if not more – annoying, rude, selfish and stubborn. And shameless, yes.
I was going to tell you all about how he pushed my buttons, but I realized that the point is that I need to let go of all this and move on. This morning when I snapped back at this person I, for some reason thought, “It’s Christmas, I should forgive.” Of course, the actual realization only came when I remembered that Jesus died for my sins not so that I will forgive one petty offense, but so that I will be free from being unforgiving everyday of my life.
Perhaps I have failed time and time again because I was fighting for the wrong things.
I looked at people around me who were motivated by fame and money, and I thought, if I want these things as bad as they do I’d be able to pay the price too. The truth is, when I used that as motivation, I just keep falling to the place where I think, “screw it, I can do without it”; then it makes me feel like some strange being who just doesn’t want anything very much at all. I thought, “everyone has some big goal/passion they’d give everything for, except for me.” It made me feel so strange about myself and about life, like I was just drifting through it with no particular purpose or drive. Continue reading →
Just kidding, I’m gonna brag about the free stuff I get.
I was sitting around (on a plane; and which I didn’t have to pay full fare for), and realized that I’m a well and true receiever of special treatments: free stuff, sponsors, discounts, even that occassional dose of friendliness in the form of a precious smile in this low-quality customer service city of Hong Kong. Okay, that may not be entirely true,but people here do seem permanently annoyed at you, themselves, and the world.
Getting back to my point, I’m also realizing that I get special treatment probably because my face is sometimes on TV. That also happens to make it extremely clear and obvious that I do not deserve any of this.
So there I sat, staring out at the clouds, determined to look like I’m drowning in my own thoughts when I’m actually trying strategically position my back towards the kid with those glorious-smelling feet next to me, and realized, “wow, so you’re one of those people now. ” Those people who look like they have all these special connections (in my case it’s a completely free gift of highly undeserved favor and blessing), and a small voice in my head asked, “so how does it feel?”
A week ago my senior pastor preached a sermon on prayer.
I have always struggled with prayer in my own time. I guess it has to do with faith, and how little patience and concentration I have.
Something that Ps John quoted really struck me:
“The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.” – Samuel Chadwick.
This sparked a desire and an ambition for prayer in me. I went home and prayed with faith in the power of my words. I knew I was on the right track when I felt a spiritual warfare raging against me. I was stumbling in my own struggles, weighed down by thoughts I know are not from God, struggling to breathe from the stress of ministering to others - but there is hope! This is what God began to do: revealing to the youth whom I minister to their identity in Him, challenging them to think about His place in their lives and to lay down their desires in honor of Him, and learning to to trust in His goodness.
A week ago I was convinced that I did not have a heart for ministry. The power of prayer broke this lie and revealed even more to me.
The first time I had heard about Jeremy Lin was when I saw a Kevjumba video on YouTube. These guys are a hit or miss with me – sometimes I’m dying and other times I just gotta trust my teen cousins that they’re “OMGSOFUNNY”. What got my attention though, is Jeremy Lin’s boldness to share what he believes in, on camera with friends who make funny videos. I love the fact that his identity in Christ is not a dividing factor between him and friends.
As for basketball, let me be honest, I’ve only seen about 30 seconds out of all the videos there are of him playing, but I get the point, and I agree that he is great. Yet I must say, what gets me excited is not that he’s Asian, but as a person who works in what people call a ‘dark’ industry, I’m super excited to see a passionate follower of Christ in this sphere of influence. Continue reading →
Almost a year ago I had a burn-out. It wasn’t fun.
One of the most important things I learnt in 2011 to do was rest. A friend of mine was going through a similar thing as me when I had my burn-out. We vowed to allows ourselves at least one day of rest every week (that’s if my work schedule allows, somewhat ironic/pointlessly). It’s also what we call the Sabbath. That day usually wasn’t Sunday since I’m busy running around at church, so I would set a day aside each week for my own enjoyment.
Towards the end of the year I realized I didn’t only need me-time, but I needed physical rest. You see, I had been setting a day aside to chill, meet up with friends and whatnot, but what I didn’t realize is that it is actually quite tiring.
I was telling a friend today, that as I made work a priority (she promptly corrected me that it’s my sanity that’s priority, though work is one of them), I needed to make rest a priority along with it. Well, it’s more of a shift in attitude and this is what happened: Continue reading →
I’ve been through a dry season with God for the last few months, and for my new year’s + birthday wish all I wanted deep down was a restoration of that intimacy with Jesus.
It has been frustrating. I keep wondering what I can do to make things right, yet I knew it isn’t my works that will change my relationship with God, for it is by grace that I am saved (Ephesians 2:8).
I said in the Thanksgiving post that we’ll revisit the spirit of that holiday in a later post, so here goes.
When we went around the table sharing the things we’re thankful for, I freaked out a little. I couldn’t think of anything, and as a follower of Jesus that scared me. Was I that ungrateful and oblivious to all the blessings God has given me?