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Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Revelation

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for many things. One of which is that I am endowed with the smarts and a natural sense of curiosity which has allowed me to be adventurous. I am thankful of my family who has stood by me all these years supporting me in my goals and dreams. I realized that the reason for my accomplishments today is for many parts the direct consequence of having knowledge and the desire to seek knowledge. I realized, through talking to many of my peers, that the prospect of knowledge seeking decreases as one ages. That is, once the memory of school fades behind you, as work intensifies and responsibilities amps up, people often find that the search for advanced education and knowledge becomes a luxury. But it shouldn't be!

In my revelation during this holiday, I've decided to utilize my love of blogging and my desire to be more knowledgeable and cultured, to spend some time each day seeking interesting things that I can learn from. I have a whole list of documentary films that I want to watch, museum exhibits I want to view, lectures to attend and people to talk to. I really believe that we must NOT live a mindless life, that is, we just go through all the motions of life--eating, drinking, dating, getting married, finding a job, having kids, pay the mortgage, and finally sleeping---but that we should be mindful of ourselves, our behaviors, our surroundings and most importantly, our thoughts. No matter where we are in life, what we are doing, whatever our emotional state, I think that every individual should aim to improve themselves through seeking knowledge.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

To Forgive Is To Heal

Someone recently asked me if I were someone who trust people and can forgive them when wronged or if I were someone who trust people until they prove me wrong and then I find it hard to trust again. I thought about it and I realized that I am the latter. I realized that I am someone who really trust all people and can easily accept a new person into my inner circle of friends and access to my thoughts, and as a result, I have often been hurt, used or taken advantage of. To protect myself, I'd hold an indefinite grudge against that person. I used to have a personal motto, "I might forgive you, but I don't forget." If someone were to wrong me, I find myself consciously being "careful" around that person and more often than not, I come cold and unapproachable.

I attended the Calvary Baptist Church today and for the first time in a long time, I felt really close to God. Everyone at the church was friendly and they were so enthusiastic about giving praise. Reverend Dave said that God doesn't give us burdens we can't bear, He doesn't expect us to do anything for Him in return for His love, all we need to do is to praise him, worship him and love him. To love someone with all one's heart is to have the ability to put down all anger, resentment and dissatisfaction and allow the purity of love envelope us, and that in itself is real and dependable.

I've been hurt in my life, often by friends who either turned out to be the biggest jerks or those I felt had betrayed my trust. It's hard for me to navigate through these negative emotions. I, too, want to hurt them like they had once hurt me. But in the spirit of Thanksgiving that is rapidly approaching upon us, I am forced to think about what it truly means to forgive someone. In Ephesians 4:31-32, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you", I know that to reach real peace in my heart, I must let go all this hurt and resentment, I must learn how to forgive others, only then can I truly heal.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Living Simply

One of my favorite "stanza" of verses is from Luke 12:22-34, titled "Do Not Worry", NIV. I like it because Jesus spelled it out clearly for us. He tells us that there is no need in worrying about what food we'll eat or clothes we'll wear because God will provide that for us. All we need to do is to live each day glorifying him, being generous to the people around us and God will see to it that we are full and dressed in splendor, (like the crows and lilies, respectively).

v. 25: Who of you can by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
This is so true! I find that as I grow older each day, I start to worry more and more. I worry about everything. My skin-- am I using enough moisturizer? My exams-- will I pass all and receive the necessary certifications? My career-- will I fulfill my dreams? My spouse-- will I find the one? Yet, no matter how I worry there is nothing I can do about anything, other than live each day-- my given 24 hours and hope that tomorrow I can have more answers to my questions. I think that is what Jesus wants for us too. He wants us to live a fulfilled life-one that we can live mindfully and completely invested in what He has to offer to us.

v. 29: And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
Eating, drinking (and shelter) are necessities to life. If Jesus tells us that we need not to concern ourselves with these necessities, then we shouldn't. I can pinpoint all the times now in my life in which I had worried, stayed up at night, cried over things that all turned out the way it's supposed to in time. Of course, I think *some* Christians don't try very hard in life; they give "everything" to God, literally. They think that if they just bum around, God will give them everything. I think when Jesus tells us not to worry about the necessities in life, he's simply telling us the frame of mind we should endorse--peace in heart-- but by no means is He giving us the green light to just chill out and do nothing.

v.32-33: ...Your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor...
As a businessperson, I've heard this phrase a lot in my life: you must give first in order to get. When a car salesman wants to sell a car in his showroom, he must first give excellent service before he can get the sales. Before an investment banker can close a $1 billion deal, he must first provide information. And even in restaurants, chefs must ensure their patrons eat a delightful and delicious meal before they can get paid for their work. Everything is a give then get relationship so you can see that it even more so needs to be in the Kingdom of God. In fact, God has already promised us his kingdom, he is "pleased" to give that to us. So why be so stingy with our pocketbooks and possessions? Instead, God wants us to sell our things and give to the poor, because what we'll receive in return will greatly surpass what we give.

v. 34: For where your treasure be, your heart will be also.
I love this verse, because it is very true! There were many times when I put my treasure in people and places, only to have my heart broken and torn apart. If I can put my treasure in God's kingdom, I know He will always guard it with love, "where no thief will come near and no moth will destroy."

I think the point of today's devotional is that life is actually very simple. Live each day to the fullest, obey the word of God, do not worry about anything, give back to the people around you and God will provide.

Prayer

Thank you, God, that you are our great provider. Help us to be content with what we have so that we can give more. Amen.

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo!!! --- It's finally here!

The very much anticipated National Novel Writing Month is finally here! Each year in November, thousands of aspiring and veteran novelist gather across the world to participate in the challenge of completing a novel in a month. You can check out their website for additional rules and guidelines. http://www.nanowrimo.org/

I am eager to participate in their challenge. Actually, it's not my first year knowing of their existence. When I was only a junior in college, I had stumbled on this website, but at that time, I wasn't so confident, a novel in a month, seriously? The second time I came across it when I was a senior... but I managed to convince myself that I was way to busy preparing for grad school to indulge this. Last year, I had forgotten about NaNoWriMo until it was Thanksgiving and by that time, it was too late to join in the fun. But this year---I think, maybe just this year is going to be the year that my dream to be a novelist will come true! (Fingers crossed.)

Now, all I need a novel idea. ^_^