I realized that moving out from home is a gradual process. You take bits and pieces away from old place and transfer them into your new apartment. No matter how much you take at one time, you are bound to forget to take something. So, I need to go back and forth and back and forth to take the things I need.
Other things will need to slowly adjust as well, like cooking, taking care of everything in the apartment etc. In a way, it is similar to my college days when I live by myself and took care of a lot of stuff. Being independent move several steps futher.
Today I had the opportunity to participate in a rally sponsored by the bay-area churches against passing a law in legally allowing same-sex marriages.
I arrived at the park at around 3pm and already there're thousands of people gathered. Everyone wore a red-T saying "1 man + 1 woman = marriage" and also a sign with same message. After some hymns and speeches, we marched along the busiest 19th St. in sunset area and had a peaceful protest for about an hour. Cars passed by honked to support us. I heard about 150 bay-area churches participated in this event. Over 10,000 people participated. Thanks be to the Lord!
It was a very good rally and I hoped the San Francisco local government can hear and see us and seriously consider whether to pass the bill for having legal same-sex marriage.
There were a few young people doing anti-protest: they had signs which says "God loves everyone"; "Church and States?", "God does not discriminate", "Freedom isn't just for straight people". Seeing them makes me sad. Nowadays American young people have no moral standards. If they like doing something they "just do it" like Nike commercial. Having sex with multiple people, cheat on spouse, doing disgusting acts to make they "cool" etc. And they think it's ok because there is no more Black and White, only gray area. I can see that they desperately need Jesus. All the teachings in the Bible clearly tells us marriage is between a man and a woman. That is a family. The idea of same-sex marriage scares me because it totally destroys what is called a "family". Kids will have two mothers or two fathers. When they grow up are they gonna marry the same gender people? Is it a family at all? Do they see this as a problem? It is really sadness to see the modern American morality has degraded to such a horrific state. This rally is doubly important because San Francisco has long considered as the "gay city". Passing this law meaning other states will soon follow. A lot of the countries in the world mimic USA, and those countries will most definitely start to pass laws which allow same-sex marriage. This world will become a mess. Freedom is being totally abused. When people have too much freedom they tend to lose control.
I pray that God will bring those who are lost back to Him. Through His own word in the Bible, I believe we can do something and tell these people there is truth written by the Lord who really loves us. Amen.
Have not been purchasing worship CD for a while. When I saw this one at Target I was excited. RSJ definitely has nice voice and I really like her rendition of "Pray" and "Above All' in other compilation worship albums. This is a mini-album with 8 songs (plus surprises!) and every song is very well performed by RSJ. The voices version of "Here I Am to Worship" and the last track "The Power of your Love" are especially impressively sung. Hearing worship classics in a different style in a live setting with prayers and cheers in between, "Live Worship" is a worthy pickup by worship-song avid people.
Suddenly I realized it is already 9 years since I came to USA to study and work. There are so much things I want to give thanks to. These 9 years I've seen so many changes to the way I think and act. From a very very child-like person to have some maturity is making progress.
Thanks to give: college experience to me is half-good half-bad. The good parts are the international exposure I got from all the international students at Calvin College. I'll never forget all the friendship and all the cool and smart people I've met there. People in the bay-area think they're cool and smart, but when I look at the folks at Calvin there is simply no comparison. Til today, some of the closer friends we still keep in touch. Those weddings are always excuses to get together!
The not so pleasant times include the initial struggle with cultural shock and the really really cold weather in Michigan. When you're a foreigner in another country you always is among the minority, and sometimes that doesn't feel good at all. But because of these bad experiences I am able to help out those in a similar situation and give good advices. These are definitely the good parts of my struggle. I am glad God has put many nice and able people around me when I need their help. Because they're willing to help, I learned from them as well and in turn help those in need.
And, it's been 5 years since I work! Wow, it's been so long. Of course, there's a period of time when I wait for a job and needed to be patient for His guidance. Sometimes when I wait I got impatient (and boy I'm an impatient person). God really teaches me how to be patient. From the 9 fruits of spirit, I think patience is the one I lack most. I rest, I think I do pretty well :) Of course there's always room to improve.
All the different work experiences, working with different people (I've worked with American, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, French, Man, Woman, boy, girl, fat lady, thin man....) gave me a lot of insights and helped me know how to deal with people and office politics. Although I've been mostly in the I.T. field, I still got so many types of valuable experiences.
I cannot imagine who I am now if I stay in Hong Kong. It is my family's decision to move to USA after I graduated from Form6. Kind of followed them and got into college over here. A lot of times, I do not understand why people here are so eager to stay in USA. For me, staying here or not doesn't really matter. What matters is where God wants me to be. Right now, it wasn't too clear, but I know He has plan for me. I'm glad I know Him from very early on. It just makes life so much beautiful with God being the center of life. Sometimes, I struggle with life, sometimes I distant myself with Him, but when I know He's always there to guide me I feel very safe.
When else? Oh yes, all the people I met here in the bay-area during my 5-year stay. I do treasure the friendship. Although I've my share of struggle with church and smallgroup, I've gained a lot of insights and get to know a lot of people, although I wish I know many people better. Being a pk, I always expects people to be mature and serious. These days I try to be more fun and relax and I think I'm getting some unexpected reaction!
Moved in more stuff and assembled more furniture at my apartment today after work. The place is starting to get in shape, but I still have a few pieces of furniture I need to get, and don't mention all the minor stuff along the way. Moving is so much work, but it is a lot of fun especially when you're the person planning it.
Today I saw a neighbor when I was about to enter the house. It was the first time I see someone at the complex. My apartment is kind of quiet so I think it's nice. The neighbor obviously was in a hurry so didn't have a chance to say hi. Well, plenty of chances!
Besides thinking about the moving and what to buy for the place, I'm also planning my summer trip to east asia. My muscular friend who helped me moved today gave me some tips about the trip since he's from Malaysia himself. At least I get some ideas! I think it's gonna be fun. This year I've been going everywhere. Never would have imagined I'd travel to so many places in 2004. I love travelling!
Thoughts from tonight bring me back to my good friend's baptism happened on Easter Weekend. 3 days before Easter, he emailed me and told me he's getting baptised. I was so happy I couldn't react.
My friend has been a seeker for many many years. He has a very scientific mind and he wants to find out everything to the minute details before believing anything. God gave me many opportunities to share the gospel with him during my friend's struggle with Christianity. Everytime we sat down, I don't know what kinds of questions he would throw at me. And they turned out to be very tough and theological questions that sometimes we are so into the debate we would start quarreling and arguing. But, everytime, I tried to pray at the beginning and let God handle the questions. It was quite amazing indeed, because I could answer all my friend's tough tough questions with ease everytime. If this is not God's own work, what is?
I am glad that God has given me this opporunity to serve Him and bring another person into His family. To me, seeing my good friend getting baptised is definitely one of the joyous moments ever for myself. When I was sharing gospel with him, I wasn't really expecting he'll get baptised soon or he will change because I said something spiritual. But you know, God really has His own timing. Now, my friend is a cellgroup leader. Although he's in the spiritual infancy, with the help of pastor and b&s I'm sure he's going to do very well and be spiritually mature day by day.
Sharing gospel to individual also reminds me that serving God can be multi-dimentional. At church, we often think that playing in the band, being cellgroup leader, leading bible study, or organizing bible camp are "servings". Sometimes, personal testimony is even more powerful than anything. Using life to impact life can be very fruitful indeed.
Never go to buy furniture by yourself. Today I learned the lesson.
With my moving to a new apartment, there're lots of things to take care of, including buying a bunch of basic furniture. So, I decided to go to the ever-popular Ikea store to get some nice pieces. I was really exhausted afterwards. The lessons I learned are:
1. Never go to buy furniture alone. Go with friends or relatives and they can give you advice and double-check things for you. I got a wrong piece and needed to do a return and get the correct one. 45 minutes wasted. I was running two lanes at checkout and return so I can save some time. Basically running back and forth and back and forth. People must think I'm one of their staff or something.
2. Bring some muscular people with you. I am not exactly those type of guy who can pick up 600 pounds (yes my colleague do. And no, none of my furniture is 600 pounds). You can imagine I was having difficulties moving huge pieces of furniture boxes into my car. Man I was dragging them...
3. Go on a weekday! I should've gone the weekdays instead of this Sunday. People like to buy furniture on Sundays and the line is always busy. All the lanes are so long - checkout, returns, cafeteria...
4. Plan on using a whole day to buy your furniture. I was too ambitious in trying to get the shopping done in the early afternoon and go to choir practice in the evening. Ended up I was way too exhausted and went home to rest. Buying furniture is a big task. Unless you're only getting 1 or 2 small pieces, otherwise you'll have to calculate the extra times to pick-up, schedule home delievery, load them onto your vehicle. I've already skipped some non-essential things but still spending more than 4 hours at the store.
On the bright side, I had bought some furniture pieces with good prices, and I am excited to be able to use them in my new apartment. Now, hopefully they'll fit ok at my place.
Side-note: do you know Ikea's founder Ingvar Kamprad is the world richest man now? Passing the computer geek Bill Gates. Very successful and i think he really deseves it, with a brilliant idea or having self-assembled furniture at a low price.
Today is the last day for all the NBA teams to play in regular season. Starting from this Saturday, the playoff will begin, meaning 16 teams will compete for the ultimate NBA champion.
And my beloved Mavs is playing the Kings in the first round. You know this is actually so good because I am so confident that the Mavs can beat the Kings. This time probably in less than 7 games hehe... :) Before you Kings fans start bashing me, I do think the Kings doesn't deserve to get out of first round of playoff with Webber whining, Bobby hurting, and simply being the Kings!! Now, let's see who can outshoot who in the first round.
NBA has bring a lot of excitement and anticipation for me for the past years. Seeing big guys compete and play good basketball reminds me that I have to work hard to archieve the things in life. Go Mavs. I know it's been a tough year for the team, but I think they will go through the playoff and mature even more than last year. Guys in this team, Nowitzki, Nash and Finley are inspirations to me. Seeing them compete their guts out...it is total inspiration.
Today, 15min from where I work and live, a plane crashed into the middle of the freeway.
The amazing thing is, two people on the a small jet came out and walked to dial 911. I believe they are scratchless.
I don't know if this is God's intervention. But if it is, then this is beyond unbelievable. Well, maybe it is not that unbelievable afterall because God is amazing Himself.
Besides this big news happened around town, I've been too busy to blog. Finished the Japan trip entries, but haven't insert all those pictures in the entry. With work and choir extra practices plus moving, I've been quite exhausted lately.
If you're reading this blog, drop me a line. I'd like to know how my friends are doing. Been lazy to keep up with things. I shouldn't.