Daba un paseo

I saw a bird's nest, sitting neatly in the arms of a large tree.
The calls of birds were not all the same.
I heard sounds I had never heard before.
...simply because I took the time.

I bought a new book.
I thought about life.
I rested by the rushing river.
...simply because I took the time.

I read His word.
I prayed to Him.
I took a walk,
simply because I took the time.

and when? When was this time taken? When could this time be taken?

Today, of course. or every day. Take the time. You won't regret it. Hopefully. =]

I don't like having

 a class entirely online. =( It makes procrastination not an option. Perhaps that's a good thing in my help me break that habit, but really? I mean, I don't like having to have it in all by a certain time...and all online, too!! ><" Annoying. 

I'll post more later. No real positive incentive to post yeah. Hence the lack of posts. =P

Jamon is right. "My face" looks like a red tomato. Hehe ^^ Oh, and...I suppose I'll copy and paste my results from this online personality survey-type thing. It's somewhat accurate, actually, especially the first and last paragraphs, I've been told. 

You are a very sensitive person and you try hard (perhaps a little too hard) to make favourable impressions and to be recognised by your peers. But you have that inherent need to feel appreciated and admired and you are easily hurt if all of your endeavours go by unappreciated or not acknowledged. Stop trying so hard.

Enough is enough. Nothing seems to be working out as you would like it to and it has got to the stage where you feel as if you can't be bothered anymore. The way you feel is that it would be great if you could be cut off from everything and take it easy - be it only for a short time.

In spite of the fact that you believe that your hopes and ideas are realistic, it is hard for you to accept that your needs and desires are misunderstood by almost everyone within your sphere of influenceand there is no-one to turn to or rely on. Your pent-up emotions and inherent egocentricity make you quick to take offence, but as matters stand you realise that you will have to make the best of things as they are.

You are being unduly influenced by the situation that is all around you. You do not like the feeling of loneliness and whatever it is that seems to separate you from others. You know that life can be wonderful and you are anxious to experience life in all its aspects, to live it to the full. You therefore resent any restriction or limitations that are being imposed on you and you insist on going it alone.

You are trying to build up your own position and you resist all external influences. You insist that you are your own person and you will not tolerate any outside interference. Decisive and proud, you are true managerial material.

I bet this font won't change back either. =/ Sigh. Oh well. 

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Getting Into His Word

can be really fun. I'm not kidding. :) I just felt like posting this on livejournal. It might be interesting to read any reactions to it...or just to have it here. ^^ It's basically an assignment from my Spiritual Disciplines class.

I found a dandelion growing in my front lawn, standing alone, it seemed. The only other dandelion I saw stood at least two feet away. As I plucked it, I noticed how smooth the stem was. The stem’s color reminds me of the outside of an onion, the part that is peeled off before onions are cooked. However, it is not completely reddish brown like an onion’s skin; it is also green at the near top of the stem, before the most definite aspect of a dandelion. When I set the dandelion down on a table for me to study, some seeds detached from the main anatomical part of the dandelion. As I look at it right now, all of the seeds, except the ones towards the top of the main part, are remaining. The stem seems to have grown into a bent shape, perhaps revealing to me how the dandelion bends itself towards the sun, in order for it to photosynthesize more effectively. This reminded me of the truth of “draw near to [Christ], and [He] will draw near to you," since He promises that if we seek him with all our heart, we will sure be able to find Him. Also, there is a seed inside the web of seeds, which has fallen away from the center, but yet is still holding on because of the position of it. When I think about how some of the seeds have blown away and how some stay attached, I can’t help but think of the importance of abiding in Christ, since, after all, I did just come back from a retreat which emphasized the importance of abiding in Christ, as well as that of being pruned, as a branch abiding in the Source. Similarly, most of these seeds are still attached but, as time goes by, and as people walk by it, or as the wind continues to blow, even the slightest bit, on it, most, if not all, will eventually fall away. However, I think (or at least hope) that, although it is true that the path is narrow, the path is not quite that narrow. Instead, I think we have stronger willpower as humans, as long as we continue to be on our guard, to remain in the Source—that is, God.

I'm kind of sad the formatting won't work; oh well. =/ I'll live. :)
blue bear

The Advance,

my pastor calls this. I am ready to be unashamed of Your gospel. Dear God, I want to always have your word in mind, and constantly be reminded of It. Lord, I yearn for your compassion...and I want to be able to spread it to those around me. Help me, God, help me to stay commited to doing Your will and living the life You want me to live. Help me to trust in You. Most of all, help me to never leave You...I know I will fail. I KNOW I will cheat on you...because I'm an unfaithful wife, but Lord...I pray that I can cheat just a little less, because of the "bit more" I've fallen in love with You. I may never march in the infantry *marches*, ride in the cavalry, shoot the artillery; I may never FLY over the enemies, but I'm in the Lord's army; YES SIR! =D I really am. I am ready. I will pray. I will study Your word. I will listen. I will march. I will run and not grow weary; walk and not grow faint, for You are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (the boring? =P), I will fear no evil. For if You are for me, who then can be against me? I will not let anyone look down on me, but rather I WILL set an example in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity. I will...but I can only will all of this with Your help. Lord, I want to be a yummy sample, especially to those who haven't walked towards the "Jesus" sample stand, if I may call it that. Although it IS hard, and I WILL hit inconveniences, or blocks in my path. I WILL CONTINUE RUNNING AND TREKKING THIS PATH WITH YOU, for You are worthy of praise. Only You deserve it. Praise be to You forever and ever, even when the sun is shining, even when the rain is pouring, may the glory and the honor and the power and the praise be Yours for eternity. 

I know these are just words, but these are also sincere words from a broken heart, a heart which once lost contact with You, which once (and will again) turn to other things for satisfaction in life. I pray that I can live these words; I pray that these are not JUST words. Help me, Lord. I call for You to guide me ...and yes, I surrender ...this is hard to say, because, honestly, I'm still unsure what it means to surrender--or what it looks like to surrender, but Lord, I want no more of this for myself. It's all for You. and this is just The Beginning of an amazing journey. I entrust my life in Your hands.

GOD IS GOOD. ALL THE TIME. Praise ye the Lord.
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Raaadical :)

Snow Retreat.

I can honestly say that I was not looking forward to it this time around. I just wanted to sit around at home, watch House, finish up my UCLA scholarship application, and rest. Instead, I went. And I have to is most indubitably not something I will ever regret doing. Just...everything about it makes it all the more worth it: the people, the messages, the food, the authenticity, the smells, the snow, the snow/men/, the appreciations, the encouragement cards, the worship, the speaker--everything. and, if it were logically possible, more. Before this retreat, I had not been growing at all...this retreat is definitely the impetus to drive me to know Him more and more. Even though my Spiritual Disciplines teacher had challenged us with SO many things, and even though I entered the class with the intention of fulfilling (or at least attempting) every single one of them, I failed at attempting even the simplest of the challenges. It was like...I wanted to grow, yet I didn't want to make the effort to grow. To put it simply and genuinely, I didn't think the time spent with God would be worth it in the end. MAN, I so badly want to punch myself when I was thinking these thoughts. How much more foolish can a person be?! I was so wrapped up in ...I don't even know. Friendships? School (not even; I'm not doing very splendidly academically at all, frankly)? House? I don't know. One thing I DO know for sure is that I WASN'T wrapped up in God. I WASN'T centering my life on God. I WASN'T trusting God. I WASN'T making time for Him. and I WASN'T living my life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I WAS being disrespectful to my parents. I WAS blindly saying things, without thinking of the possible outcomes. I WAS blindly accepting some of the things people would say about other people. I WAS discontent with what I had. I WAS taking all of it for granted. I WAS leading my own life. I WAS wasting my God-given time. and I WAS putting so many things in front of Him. 

If you were to ask me what I am doing right now, or what I plan to do, I would not know exactly how to answer you, except that I have made a commitment to be loving to my family. Halfway through the second worship section on Monday night, I realized what a terrible daughter I've been, and what an unloving and uncaring sister I have been. Please keep me accountable to this. I want to honor God with my life, and I think doing so within my family would be one of the best starting points.

I cannot--repeat, cannot commit to genuinely praying each day or consistently spending time in His word, because I am human (not dancer..haha I'm so funny) and I am prone to fail...LARGELY prone to failure, ESPECIALLY in those areas. I don't know what it is about it...I guess it's just our inherent selfishness that makes it hard for us to make time for Him. It's our desire to be in control of our lives, to want to know what's going to happen next, that makes it hard. Some of us don't make time for Him, because we're afraid that our times with Him may not be as sincere as we would like them to be; however, I would like to encourage every one of you to spend that time nevertheless. God is our Heavenly Father, and He wants us to spend time with Him, even if it is complaining or ranting...think about it this way: at least you're doing it to God, and not someone else. John Piper has an interesting video about this, titled something along the lines of, "Are we supposed to complain to God?" Yeah.

On the subject of being pruned. I don't believe I've been (physically?) pruned yet. That's that. I guess I'll have these messages with me during those times when I do get pruned. One thing's for sure: I'm excited to live a soul-ed (HAHA; get it? I know. I'm so clever. =P Just kidding) out live for Him. I'm excited to actually spend time in His word...and to NOT deceive myself by reading and then forgetting what I've read and not applying what I've read. Hearing Connie's testimony of how our little Romans 12 excursion has changed her life and attitude about life so much is EXTREMELY awe-inspiring. She is testimony to the true power that lies within His living word. Soo awesome to hear about it, really!! We must continue, yes?

Another thing...I've learned the importance of abiding in Christ; after all, He is the source. If I am disconnected from Him, the root, how can I bear fruit??! It just doesn't make sense. I must maintain contact with Christ. I must remain in Him and abide in Him. Abiding in Christ means...

-Meditation on God's word

If I abide in Christ, God the Father will be my gardener, whose job joy is to prune us, those branches who abide in Him. He prunes to get rid of the dead wood/leaves and to trim the live ones. In RL, there are apparently three types of pruning, and I guess...God does the same, and yeah. I pray to be open to be broken for Him to be pruned by Him...and ultimately, to rely solely on Him. Like Emily said, when everything is taken away, you then can only rely on God, and sometimes, that might be the way God will try to get our attention. Sometimes, I'm too comfortable, and because I'm too comfortable, I begin to become very lackadaisical, sadly, about my relationship with God, and I begin to completely fail on my end, BUT if I abide in Him, I will have Him to lean back on when I fall. I will have Him to praise when I fail and when I succeed. It will be (and has been) an amazing journey--a journey that has only been made possible by Mac, friends of this program, and by contributions to (prayers for) your Raaadical station from "viewers like you. Thank you" Teehee xD Ohh I crack myself up. 

What do I have if I don't have you Jesus? What in this life could mean anymore?
Hold me in Your arms; never let me go! I want to spend eternity with You. 
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Something Heavenly

It feels like chaos...hehe Mommy calls this the "chaos" song. =P 

Though it's hard to surrender to what I can't see, I'm giving into something heavenly--something Heavenly. Time to face love, clean this old house, time to breathe in and let everything out that I've wanted to say so manny years; time to release all my held back tears. Whatever you're doing inside of me, it feels like chaos; now I can see this is something bigger than me, larger than life, something heavenly--something Heavenly. 

Today was Friday, so our family had Bible study using Chinese versions of the Bible! ^^ It was fun. During lunch today, Chinese Club and International Club fused together to have a little sample-tasting experience of food from various countries. Jacqueline, Linda, and I just pretty much stayed there, making 汤圆 (tang yuan--rice balls?) with the mix Katherine had made ahead of time, to drop into the bubbling pot<---reminds me of!!


Neeehahahaha *witch laugh* =P Yuup. Anyway, I have to complete two more essays for the UCLA Alumni Scholarship by the 18th of February...which means that I must work on them tonight, because Snow Retreat is from the 14th to the 17th of February. Yuup. And then, when I get back, I plan to use that day to doublecheck that application and check my email, to make sure that my teacher recommendation letters are in! ^^ At least they're not lame specific questions like those of PG&E. I think I pretty much gave upon on ever completing that--it's just too much to expect from me. ><" 

So!! I'm really excited to journal about Snow Retreat now, and I think I'm going to be like Lisa during Mexico and force myself to keep a record EVERY DAY, because my mom bought me two new notebooks! =DD Soo pretty. ^^ I hope these notebooks will provide enough of a positive incentive for me to change my behavior in not making daily logs of my days during trips. I just want to really ba zhe ge "Snow Retreat" jiao tuo zai shuo, fang xin wu you" All-State Insurance. "You're in good hands." Yes, we are! We are in God's hands...and so is snow Retreat. Snow matter what we do, God will meet us there if He feels it is the best thing to do. GOODNESS, there is an OVERWHELMING amount of spiritual warfare going on. Out of the around five people whom I instant-messaged, all five were experience some kind of negative vibe--and not just like "I feel sad," or something. They were all sensing spiritual warfare. If there is this much spiritual warfare BEFORE the actual retreat, man am I excited to see what You have in store for us DURING the retreat!! Right now, I'm feeling pretty detached from God and attached to the world. Argh. I'm so weedy it's ridiculous. I need to learn to let go of my fleshly desires...oh yeah, and after I do that, maybe then I'll actually cease to procrastinate on homework...or something. Hopefully? I don't know. Anyway, so much to pray for...I need to bring my prayer request book. 

On another note, I seem to have misplaced my camera cable... >.< I kind of need that to import pictures so I can take more of them during snow retreat !! Hmm...ooh yay! Found it! =D Okay just imported 159 of 159 pictures. Nice. I was seriously im-ing like everyone I thought who could pray for snow retreat, and I really pray that this prayer cover will be enough to hold back all of this spiritual warfare that has been going on. I want this snow retreat to be focused on You and only You. Lord, peel my eyes away from whatever is keeping any of us from being fully devoted to You. Lord, open our eyes--reveal to us how great You are--how great of a God You are. I want to see You. I want to see Your face. I want to know You more. Yes, Lord, block away all of this weedy yucky stuff and let my everything be for You--let my everything bring glory only to You, for You are the only one who deserves it. It says in Proverbs 28:...uhm, 18? Not sure... 称唱敬为的, argh. Uhm...just like blessed is the man who fears the Lord, for he will be prosperous. The man who hardens his heart shall reap trouble. Something like that. God, help us fear You. Help us to respect You for who You are and what You've done, Lord, because it's really not about us; it's about You. Thank You. Thank God.

Anyway, so one of the people with whom I talked to about this was Angeline Yen, and she suggested that I just flip through the Bible, then close my eyes, and spend some time with You in prayer...I add "and meditation." I think I shall do that. After all, You deserve no less--You deserve MUCH more. 

I lay down Snow Retreat at your feet now. never to be picked up again, because I trust You. God, I trust Romans 8:28--that you WILL indeed work out everything that happens during Snow Retreat for the good of we who love You. Thank You for Your promises, for Your love, for Your son. Help me to make that sacrifice worthwhile. I want to live my life in a way that is most glorifying to Your Holy and Precious name.

~your trytobe humble servant child, PraiseyetheLord

Dear Vienna

Wow. I want to go to Europe. xP It sounds so exotic...I feel like those people who thought western America was really exotic and stuff, so they yearned for paintings--and later, even more with photographs--of those distant lands. 

Mrs. Marc is pretty awesome. ^^ I thank God for blessing me with her presence in my life. Instead of chapel, some students met with their respective prayer warriors, so I met with Mrs. Marc.  It was not too bad of a meeting. She kicked it off with a story about herself, and how legacy makes a difference. If her mom at ten years old had never heard "Jesus loves you," it is very likely that Mrs. Marc would not be where she is today. Some of the choices we make, whether we acknowledge it or not, will inevitably affect the next generation. After her story, she basically opened it up for us to share our "conversion experiences," and just about our walks with (or without) God in general. It was not too bad, actually. I was able to learn about the lives of the other kiddies for whom Mrs. Marc prays. I like listening to people talk about their lives. It makes me feel informed and I don't's just nice to know stuff. ^^ 

MUST PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. Oh...did I mention pray??! For Snow Retreat. Yup. Please pray. I must and will pray, too. 

I wish I did not procrastinate as much as I do now. It takes away time that could be spent with God. =( Sigh...



=my epically ƒ41Łed math contest. Teehee. It was pretty bad. I can't believe I missed this one question about how there are four coins; which value cannot be made with those four coins? I FORGOT--can you BELIEVE IT?! I FORGOT that 25+3(10)=55. T____T Like I said, ƒ41Ł. wPlain-Tiff was there! Yaaaay; we sat at the same table. 'Twas quite an excursion. Not really, but yeah. It was still a good experience, despite my failure. ^^ Afterwards, I went with Danny down to the physics room, where we encountered various personages. I realized that Chris Hohl can be very random---heheheheee reading the periodic table of food elements or something. Hee-larry-ous. =D

Anyway, today was a relatively good day, methinks. I wasn't really able to talk to Mrs. Shak that much, though, because I was afraid of ending up staying there too long that the Empress might get mad at me. xP Hahaha total jk. was a good idea, I guess...I got to help Jacqueline with her Implied Metaphor (Bassoon:G-pa), remind Aneesh to do his, and check Levy's. Exciting, right? I know. I live an eventful life. xD Noo not really. =P I wiiiish...maybe. So...Spanish homework is actually making sense--probably because I'm actually reading the fuentes this time. I still don't think I will be ready for the AP exam. De ninguna manera!

Topic: Fasting--AIM, facebook, House (T___T), im-ing means, music (T___T), add a walk (where? how am I supposed to /add/ when I don't know what to take away time from! Hmm...), uhm. Oh! Solitaire...xD I ALWAYS play a game right before I go to sleep...and if I don't win in that game, I have a weird obsession with having to triumph at least once before I put myself to sleep. I should have that obsession with reading the Bible, in I HAVE TO finish this one passage before I sleep, or else I will be too anxious about it to sleep. I need that same drive to get into Scripture-reading. I think reading The Message // Remix Version that I got as a baptism gift from the church is somewhat helpful in my falling in love with His word. It reads really smoothly, so I guess it makes it more appealing? Argh, which implies that the Bible is not normally appealing to me. =( I really wish it were...but I kind of stopped at Genesis...12 or something? I don't even remember. >.> I honestly do want to love getting into God's word and love talking to God, but I seem to have trouble with the former, and the latter...I've been really reluctant to do so lately, for some reason. How can I call myself His follower, when I haven't been familiarizing myself with His guidelines OR Him?! Bad Dawning, bad! I must reset my priorities...and I DO NOT NEED AN EVENT to do this for me. I just need to commit myself to following Him daily, as Jesus asks us to do, in addition to taking up our cross and denying ourselves daily. I wonder what Jesus meant when He said "take up your cross"...does He mean with our pains and struggles? Hmm. 

Music update: I just imported "The World As We Know It" and "...In Color", both albums Jacqueline allowed me to borrow. Not too bad stuff. Right now, though...I'm listening to Meditation from Thais. =P I played--err, as Twirly would say, "pulled that piece out of my butt" for a church performance last last Saturday. That was nervewracking yet intriguing at the same time, especially watching that little boy sing his heart out. Wow, he was a marvelous singer. ^^ Also, I seriously like "Passion feat. Usher's "Yeah" Remix" by Se7en a lot. I don't gets me really pumped up! Yeeeah. So ready for a concert now. =PP Goodness, I'm beginning to sound like Jacqueline...apparently I said "STUPID!" today...and Chris Hohl was telling me how that was like Jacqueline's "stupid," according to the manner in which I uttered the exclamation. 

Be still and know.......that He is God. Be still. So hard for us to really be still nowadays...we unconsciously constantly want to be up and about, busy doing something. If we are sitting there doing nothing, we get restless...and start mentally rebuking ourselves for wasting time. Hehee my family is funny. Today during Bible study, we were talking about Jimmy.... hehehehe

"As a dog returns to his vomit, so Jimmy drinks his pee." Okay yeah. It sounds gross here, and I hope no one who reads this will let Jimmy know that I revealed such confidential information to the world. I love my family. Thank you God for my family. I know I don't seem sincerely grateful for them, but I really am. ^^ Each and every member. I don't know how to really get closer to aya (grandpa), though. Hmm. Should I? there a point? He is already a believer and I love how when he speaks...just in daily language, he'll always be breathing "xie xie ye su," meaning "thank you, Jesus" in Shanghainese. It's really quite admirable that he does might say that if you say one thing over and over again, it begins to lose its meaning. However, I say to these people (including myself), that there is an upside, too. You might have that phrase engraved into your mind, so that it is always permeating your thoughts. For example, a while ago I decided to try the repitition prayers for some reason...and I kept on saying "spread Your word, spread Your word, spread Your..." Now, this phrase sometimes just randomly enters my train of thought. or rather seemingly randomly? Hmm. 

House update: Season 2 Episode 18
E-mail update: I need to reply to Larry's email. I think I will email a short thing, stating that I will thoroughly email him back after Snow Retreat.
College update: I need to finish the UCLA Scholarship Application. >.< Ew.

For some reason, every time I post an lj entry, I feel really accomplished/productive. I like that feeling. ^^

~Be still.