vendredi, septembre 29, 2006

whats up home diggy?

summit! that's what. catch y'all later.


dear friends,

i know that in this impatient world, a comment that doesn't show up right away (even after you refresh your browser) is like sitting in gridlock during rush hour.

but on this blog, you'll have to put up with it.

SO, post your comment. if it doesn't show up right away, don't worry. if you've clicked the "post" button, it'll show up eventually. wait a day or so. if you think your comment is vital (i.e. the world is going to blow up in the next 30 seconds, take cover!) call me, and we'll chat. if not, wait a couple of hours and check to see if your comment is there. if it still hasn't appeared and you've definitely refreshed your browser...then comment again.

but don't comment right away if you see that your comment hasn't shown up. you end up posting the same comment millions of times, and you end up getting my hopes up, making me feel as though i'm the most popular person on the earth with comment lovage...and then realizing that i am not as popular as it may have seemed.

not to mention that you end up looking like you're a "post-button" pressing maniac.

hope this helps a bit with any commenting syndromes you might be experiencing (or experienced in the past).

jeudi, septembre 28, 2006


today has been a good day despite waking up at a devastatingly early hour, biking 10k in the rain to rowing, only to discover that my rowing partner had slept in.
i waltzed into class, got 100% on a quiz, started crocheting a very fun scarf and then went over to archie and cindy's house. i hadn't met cindy yet, so about a week ago i e-mailed her and introduced myself. knowing how hard it is to be in a new city without very many support structures and a fairly new mom, i decided to visit her and serve her in any way i could. So today, i went over to Cindy's house, we chatted and then i helped her mop the floors and clean the bathroom, while she made Sean's food (sean is archie and cindy's 11 month old baby). i realized, while i was scrubbing away at the toilet, that i really find joy out of serving people...even when its just a small, mundane thing like windexing bathroom mirrors.

which brings me to the point of this blog.

its almost thanksgiving once again. now, for those of you who do not know, while i have been in Toronto, thanksgiving has become my least favourite long weekend. its always a hard weekend for me. its around the time where i've been away from home long enough to miss my parents, and i fully admit to being jealous. i'm envious of my friends who are able to go home and enjoy a home cooked meal with the family, while i sit alone in my apartment eating something probably not as exciting as turkey, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.
this isn't to say i haven't been blessed; last year, my good friend andrew mckenzie invited me over to his house for thanksgiving, which was simply fantastic. it was also an answer to prayer, since i had actually cried because of loneliness the night before.

but this year, i've been mentally preparing myself for thanksgiving, knowing that once again, i would be here alone in my apartment while everyone is enjoying fellowship with the family. today however, i had the realization that i'm probably not the only one who doesn't have as many support structures in Toronto. i have friends who don't have family here! So, i have decided to work on my hospitality, and invite people to a thanksgiving dinner chez lydia. no more wallowing in some sort of self-pity! pfft. it won't be the same as enjoying time with family, and it won't be very fancy.. but i'm sure we'll have fun. even if only one other person comes.

So here it is, the invitation.

any of you blog stalkers out there who don't have family to celebrate thanksgiving with in Toronto (or who just want to mooch a meal off of someone) are invited to a thanksgiving dinner chez lydia. there's only two conditions: 1) you have to KNOW me to come. if you are a stranger who blog stalks me, sorry, you're not invited. that would be way creepy. 2) you have to RSVP by either commenting, or e-mailing me.

date: to be determined. probably friday, so that people who do want to come who have family dinners on sunday and monday can also make it.

** the picture above is a stock photo....

mercredi, septembre 27, 2006

here is a wicked cool and geeky fact that i learned in class.

each day, the average human makes about 20 000 saccades. A saccade is rapid, jerky movement that your eye makes as it looks from one target to another target. (if you want to know what a saccade feels like, stick up your two index fingers in front of you and move your eyes back and forth from the left finger to the right and vice versa.)

Anyways, because your eye moves so fast when performing these saccades, your retina is actually compressed (akin to driving a really fast car, accelerating from rest, and being sucked back into your seat), and for a certain period of time (approximately 40 milliseconds) you are actually blind. Of course, your brain compensates for this, and you do not realize you are blind.

SO, if you perform the calculations....

20 000 saccades/day x 40 ms/saccade= 800 000 ms/day
800 000 ms/day= 800 seconds/day
800 seconds/day / 60 sec/min= 13 minutes/day


humans are blind for 13 minutes each day.

good thing its only 40 ms at a time!

mardi, septembre 26, 2006

guérir mon âme.

the past couple of days have been hard for the heart. i've watched someone whom i love concretely admit to letting go of her past Love in exchange for the world.
there's been an array of emotions going on. my heart has felt desperate, heavy and burdened. i've felt sick to the point of vomiting, angry, sad... you name it, i've felt it.

i feel as though someone i love has died. the only thing is that the very One who can raise the dead to life is the One who has been rejected.

praying that He would grant me His heart for the lost has been a hard prayer to pray. He has answered the prayer...and man, its not as romantic and poetic and rose coloured as i had imagined.

in the past few days, i have caught a glimpse of a fraction of how our Abba feels towards sin, and the immensity of my own sin is devastating. Praise God that He has rescued me from myself and from death! this realization is no small thing; that the Lord has allowed me to stand in grace is treasure of immeasurable worth.

i so wish that she could see this. that the veil would be taken away. that she too would rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. i wish she could see that His death was no small thing.

these words are beautiful:

"Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door
of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the
days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of
the land of Egypt.

And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me 'My Husband' and no longer will you call me 'My Baal.' For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and the war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.

And in that day I will answer, declares the LORD,
I will answer the heavens,
and they shall answer the earth,
and the earth shall answer the grain, the
wine, and the oil,
and they shall answer Jezreel,
and I will sow her for myself in the land.
And I will have mercy on No Mercy,
and I will say to Not My People, 'You
are my people';
and he shall say, 'You are my God.'"

~Hosea 2:14-23

L'Eternel, Tu es ma forteresse, mon rocher, mon libérateur.
Tu es mon Dieu, le roc solide ou je me réfugie.
Tu es mon Sauveur tout-puissant, mon rempart et mon bouclier.

Merci, parce que tu as sauvé mon âme. C'est un trésor marveilleux.

lundi, septembre 25, 2006 confuses people.

just a little plug. Sandi Thom's debut album is fantastic. its clean AND free of profanity, which is an irregularity in most secular music in this day and age. Its also one of the first "pop" albums i've heard in a long time where i enjoy every single track.

caveat: its a bit muchly pop-esque.

josh groban.

ahhh! josh groban's new CD is coming out November 7th! SWEET.

pri, he's MINE!

sufficient grace.

Three times i pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore i will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Cor 12: 8-10

dimanche, septembre 24, 2006

jewel cases

so i bought the new Sandi Thom CD today....and it won't come out from its jewel case!


how irritating. the CD is calling out to me to listen to it...and i can't even listen to it because i can't get it out of the case. ugh, now i have to go back tomorrow and ask if they'll give me a new one, or take it out for me.

apparently even plagues sent by God are not enough for the hardened heart to break.

i am so angry right now; i want OUT of my house. i don't want to be here.
i want to go somewhere else where i don't need to experience any of this disaster. but, alas, its midnight and there is nowhere for me to go.

samedi, septembre 23, 2006

every jot and tittle.

A couple of months ago, a dear friend of mine, Joshua Robinson, informed me of a conference that would be happening in Toronto in September. i became quite excited for it, seeing as it was a conference entitled, "Getting the Most out of your Bible". What's better than spending a weekend saturated in the Word of God and learning how to wield the sword? The fact that it was only $15 dollars for students also made this a pretty sweet deal, seeing as i'm a 2o year old, fourth year, undergraduate student who is also unemployed because campus ministry and church ministry is akin to having a part time job.

Anyways, the conference started last night, and ended earlier this evening. It definitely did not disappoint. Perhaps i'll post more of my gleanings at another time (i'm still currently digesting everything i learned). If you're that pressed to find out some of the things which were taught, you can read Joshua Robinson's blog. He does a good job at recapping what i found to be the best session of the conference.
As i said, i'm not going to blog on what i learned until i have time to think about it and digest it, but i do want to blog about the first thing i was struck by at the conference.

In his opening prayer, Derek Thomas thanked our Lord that every jot and tittle in the Scriptures are from Him. This was, in a nutshell, an affirmation of sola scriptura, the principle that the Bible alone is the ultimate source of God's revelation to humanity. This of course, is no new principle to me, and those of you who know me, know that i will stand by the truth in 2 Timothy 3:16. However, hearing this brought me back to the Newsweek Article on Billy Graham that i noted on this blog in August. Billy Graham, in the article, made the statement: "I'm not a literalist in that every jot and tittle is from the Lord." Oh Billy.

Going to a conference like this was encouraging. It was encouraging to know that there are others who, in this "post-modern" world where truth is supposedly "non-existent", affirm the inerrancy and truthfulness of the Word of God. However, it was also heartbreaking to realize, once again, that there are some who are swayed by the tides of the world, who claim to believe in Jesus and in God, yet also claim that there needs to be more than the Bible in order to believe and live...or who claim that truth cannot be known. To think of the far-reaching effects that this heresy has is frightening. To know that writers like Brian Mclaren , Rob Bell and NT Wright are out there is disconcerting, especially as a 20-year old university student who has personally seen the ramifications of students my age (and younger) not knowing the truth and subscribing to the emergent church because it feels "right" and "accepting". What university students need is a healthy dose of the only Truth that exists in this fallible world. And what Christian university students, and adults alike, need to do is cling to the Word of God and have it written on their hearts. Too bad even Christians are turning their back on the Word of God and filling out subscriptions for relativistic truth (if it can even be called 'truth').

So, while i am glad that i made it out to this conference, and have learned a great deal, which will make me better at wielding the Sword, i am saddened that Joshua and i and less than a handful of others were under the age of 40. this conference was the type of thing that our po-mo generation needs to direct their eyes back to the Truth.
soli deo gloria.

oh, and while i am at it, i have to say that there was a "bloggers" lunch today, where attendees of the conference who also blog, met up at swiss chalet for lunch. since mr. robinson is such a popular guy, he knows amazing uber bloggers and invited me to tag along. here are some pictures that blogger, Carla Rolfe has put up. If you look closely, its true! i am sitting across and over one seat from the famous uber blogger, Tim Challies. i am also sitting two seats away from Pastor Paul, Joshua Robinson's pastor. Little do these people know, i have blog stalked them for awhile, so it was pretty sweet to meet them.

And here's some other pictures.

Dr. James White and Joshua Robinson. Dr. James White is a pretty cool guy. His sarcasm makes me laugh and his dedication to the Truth sobers me up.

Dr. White, Dr. Waltke, Dr. Thomas

Dr. Waltke, Joshua Robinson, myself

P.S. special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Robinson for allowing me to steal a spare bed in their house, so that i would not need to commute all the way back home, for feeding me (also, thanks to Joshua for making me food) and for introducing me to an AMAZING tea.

vendredi, septembre 22, 2006

the soul has not become a bondservant to rock and roll: a follow up post to September 19th.

On Tuesday, after the C4C weekly meeting, a friend asked me, "Are you happy, Lydia?" And for the first time in a couple of weeks, i was able to say that i was truly happy.

The start of this academic year has been a rough one for me. i've been pretty apathetic in every area of my life, especially in terms of ministry and school. i've done everything that has been required, but my heart has just not been in it. Tiredness has been my shadow ever since coming back to Toronto and a lack of compelling vision has caused me to move slowly and uninterestedly. The past 3 years have been hard. They have been tiring. Its difficult to have a heart that aches constantly for the lost on campus and yet not see much fruit. Coming into the new academic year, my faith was at an all-time low. i didn't want to pick up the cross once more. i wish i could say that my faith was like that of Abraham, who did not weaken in his faith when his own body was considered as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old). i gave up asking for His mercies each day, because my heart was corrupt, and i believed in my own works, more than His strength.

Tuesday morning, during my row, i was reminded of what i live for. i was reminded of the One who has given me life, and i was reminded of everyone dear to me, who do not yet live. Sometimes, its the small things that point us to His grace and draw our eyes off of ourselves.
My heart, admittedly, had become used to prizing itself instead of praising the Creator, who is most blessed forever. But on Tuesday, its as though His chisel had pried open this cold, calloused heart of mine. My prayer that i would see His grace with awakened eyes had been answered.

Our first REAL weekly meeting at U of T happened later that afternoon. Again, i was reminded of His grace and His sovereign hand. i was reminded of the decision i made 2.5 years ago to invest in the eternal. And finally, i was reminded that the LORD is indeed a gracious, merciful and good God. All those times when it was just myself and another girl, praying and beseeching God that He would grow the ministry and turn it into a movement have not gone unanswered. He has heard, and is doing mighty things.

From two students, two staff (= one "discipleship group) and no weekly meetings in 2003...


three students, four staff, one discipleship group (but still no weekly meetings) in 2004...

(the black girl in the back row was a random girl...she hasn't come back)
3 discipleship groups, one leaders' study, 4 staff and no weekly meetings in 2005


seven discipleship groups(totalling around 50 students), five staff, and a first weekly meeting of at least 35-40 people in 2006.

mercredi, septembre 20, 2006

watch you(r) step.

mardi, septembre 19, 2006

do i really want to follow You...or do i want to sell my soul to rock and roll? (replace rock and roll with rowing.)

today, i made it to rowing at about twenty to six. it was still early, and my new partner hadn't arrived yet. i watched as the Upper Canada College boys got into their boats and then the U of T novice rowers, followed by the U of T Varsity rowers.

i love fall, namely because its when all the racing shells come out and rowing for university students comes alive. today, as i watched them launch their boats, i thought to myself, "wow...that was you, 3 years ago." i watched them glide along the water like smooth pebbles rolling on glass and i couldn't help but feel a twinge of resentment.

the reason why i didn't continue on rowing with U of T after my first year was because i made a choice to get involved with C4C. there was no way i could wake up every morning at 4:45am for practice, do 2 hours of exercise on top of that, school, ballet, church min, violin and C4C. additionally, the OUAs (the most important university race) is always held the weekend of Summit. So, when i was in second year, i made the decision to quit rowing competitively and invest in something eternal.

i've never regretted that decision. when my body grows frail and weak, and i can no longer move, i know i'll still be able to use the skills i've learned in C4C to share the life-changing message of the Gospel with people around me.

but today, i REALLY had to speak Words of Truth to myself. seeing U of T getting coached and rowing brilliantly was a hard pill to swallow. Next to serving God, rowing and dance are two things that i enjoy the most. This morning, as i struggled to coach my partner (who is relatively new to rowing), we definitely did not glide smoothly along the water. i realized that i will never be a rower picked up by scouts for the national rowing team. i realized that i will never compete in a prestigious race like the Royal Canadian Henley. Not because of a lack of talent, but because i will never have the opportunities. i made my choice. i realized today,again for the millionth time in my life (what can i say, i'm an israelite wandering around in the desert) that it would be much easier to sell my soul to rock and roll or to become an amazing rower and athlete. but denying myself, picking up the cross and following Him is harder than it sounds.

As i sat in the boat on the water , i was reminded that nothing i "own", even my own body, is mine. at the end of my days, there will not be a u-haul behind my hearse dragging my possessions and abilities up to heaven with me. Even the tides and waves are directed by His hand. Thus, living a life for only my own selfish indulgences and denying his call would be fruitless and pointless. i want to be used by God, like Abraham, even when my body is as good as dead and i want to grow strong in my faith, as i give glory to God, fully convinced that He is able to do what He has promised.

At the end of the row, i felt good about the decision i made three years ago, and i am grateful that i did not become a pillar of salt as i looked back on that decision. as if to say, "You are my child, and i am well pleased," as i was leaving, an AMAZING master's crew asked me if i'd be willing to sweep an eight with them tomorrow night (they're short one person). This is akin to playing a game of hockey with i dunno..Maurice Richard.

thus the realization...

along with the decision i made this summer to do full time ministry upon graduation, there will be many hard decisions that i will have to make. Many things that i will not be able to do. i will probably never own a cottage or a mini cooper S. i will probably never become rich and famous. but spending an eternity with my Abba, and seeing others enter into this fold is amazing enough to outweigh all these other earthly seductions.

i am grateful, because the one thing i will be able to do forever (which is glorifying the Almighty God) is something i am also able to do right now, and is the only thing that truly matters.

lundi, septembre 18, 2006

demise of the Mad Minutes queen.

the most blonde moment i've had life.

"whats 14 x 4?"

me: 48.

in front of strangers too!


dimanche, septembre 17, 2006

Can i just say that this is SO RIDONCULOUSLY COOL???

its a protein formed by amino acids. the amino acids spell the word peace!

P= proline

E= glutamic acid

A= alanine

C= cysteine

E= glutamic acid



also, tonight...i ♥ girlfriends.

thanks aban and shelly. the sounds of your voices were beautiful to hear.

samedi, septembre 16, 2006

playing hooky on a quest for a Sumatra pays off...sometimes

sometimes, out of nowhere you meet someone and for no reason you share something that you normally wouldn't tell anyone, because your heart is struggling with it so much. and then that person tells you that they are struggling with the exact same thing and you know that your quest for a white cup with a green circle on it wasn't just a quest for coffee.

it is then that you realize that all the guilt you've been feeling and all the feelings you've been having that you're the only person wretched enough to be feeling these feelings are lies and that there are others out there sharing in the same pain and listening to the same lies.

the heart, it continues to ache. but having someone whose heart also aches to the same drum is such a blessing.

jeudi, septembre 14, 2006

who are you? (sing the title like the song by The Who)

so in light of this whole discussion on hippie yuppieness, i thought i'd provide a little character sketch of yours truly. this will, of course, be biased since introspection has never really worked all that well (au courant, Freud is yelling at me from the grave for that last remark).

in all honesty, if the world was my lover, i would probably either be a pot-smoking, G-8 summit protester trying to "be true to herself" OR an anorexic "yuppie" trying to be successful in school, or the plastic surgeon that ODs on black tar heroin because all the riches in the world wouldn't be good enough for me to get high. what is most likely, is that i would start out as the hippie and end up as the yuppie. i mean, the dichotomy is pretty evident from what i'm studying in university. Peace and Conflict Studies. its the "coolest" thing to study, but to get into the program you have to be the kind of keener who saves the whales while CONCURRENTLY getting a 4.0 in your spare time. somehow, when i was in high school i didn't manage to save any whales, but i was heavily involved with an organization entitled Free the Children. All this to say that in my past life, i freed some children and got honours with distinction in all my classes. i always assumed i'd be the hippie-yuppie. i went to an arts school for crying out loud. i'm sure some people i know must now live on a peace love and happiness commune. but i also grew up in a chinese household. i wouldn't JUST be able to be a hippie living on a commune. somewhere in there, you gotta throw in the financial ability to drink a starbucks three times a day and own a bmw (although to compensate for the hippie in me, i'd settle for a mini cooper. owned by BMW, but without the temptation for gangsters to key it).

since discovering the Best Treasure ever though, i don't really take stock in how i should be "defined" or "stereotyped" or "labelled". i am an alien and stranger on the earth, an ambassador of Christ, the aroma of Christ, a bondservant of Christ, called as a disciple, a fellow citizen of Christ, a disciple of Jesus. i could go on and on. to glorify Christ is the purpose and defining vision of my life.

however, while i am on this earth there ARE earthly things i DO find delightful and when my heart is in the right place these things direct my eyes up their ray to the Giver of gifts. so i enjoy these things. i don't consider myself a conoisseur of music, although i do enjoy listening to good cacophony (all kinds, although i must say that i hold a special place in my heart for many indie sounds). i don't consider myself an athlete to ANY degree, although i do enjoy rowing and ballet. i enjoy many "artsy-fartsy" things like making my own jewellry, sewing purses and crocheting. my favourite area in Toronto is probably kensington market because i take pleasure in the ethnic diversity, the independent spirit and the organic, vintage feel of the location. i love indie culture and find it vastly different and more "chill" than the high stress thats always buzzing around bay street, where i live. i try to eat organics and free run, because i believe that the Lord has entrusted us with the earth, so while i live here, i want to be a good steward of the things He has given. with mass production, unnecessary cruelty to animals takes place on an ongoing basis, and so while i do not champion the animal rights' cause, i spend the extra 50 cents to know that my eggs aren't coming from chickens who have to fight to breathe. not to mention that organics taste better. i am not, however, a vegetarian. firstly because i don't mind a good piece of chicken once in awhile, but more so because i esteem people higher than animals. Thus, if i should ever find myself in overseas missions, i don't want to have to perhaps insult my host by telling them that i only eat vegetables (although in certain cultures, being a vegetarian may be more of a positive which case, i would give up meat. but again because of a love for God and his people, not to champion a cause. props to those who DO champion the save the whales cause though.).

anyways, i digress.

all this to say that if delighting in these things classifies me as a hippie, then maybe according to the eyes of the world, i am as such.

at the same time, i do enjoy drinking a good grande americano from starbucks and i do own a laptop and i do live in a condo on bay street and i do attend what is arguably the most anal retentive school in Canada. i own a cell phone, and i can't imagine what it would be like to live without it. well, actually i CAN imagine it because i spent the past week without one..but thats an entirely different story. i do a lot of my grocery shopping at Dominion's even though its a snooty store, because its the only grocery store near to me. but lets be honest, even if there was a grocery store a 25 minute walk from my house, i would probably still go to Dominions because sometimes i'm lazy and i don't want to carry groceries a long distance. if delighting in technology, starbucks and shopping at Dominion's makes me a yuppie, then maybe according to the eyes of the world, i am a yuppie.

sometimes, i'm more of a chameleon than anything else. because i enjoy so many things, and often, vastly different things, i can choose what to emphasize at different times. if you look closely at yourself, you will probably find that you too are like this. i hold no reservations about being able to morph into a "different" person in different contexts because i think that in leading a missional lifestyle i want to comprehend the different cultures that surround me and i find it hard to embrace these cultures when i stand outside the window shouting "repent or die!". the closest one will get to a concrete view of my personality is probably from this blog, because in writing this i'm not too mindful of different cultures reading this...seeing as, out of the 50-80 hits i get a day (depending on the month), i probably only know who a handful of the blog stalkers are.
does this attempt to be cross-cultural and missional mean that i change who i am? no, for i will always remain a child of God and i pray that my eyes will always stay fixed on the Creator instead of serving the creature.
but while i live on this earth, i am glad that in some ways i am able to identify with the "hippie" and "yuppie" cultures (and a myriad of other "cultures"), so that i can explain the gospel to those who need to hear it in a way that is perhaps more relevant to them than a soapbox preacher (although i am sure there are many a story where God has used the soapbox man to call people into repentance).

and thats that.

addendum: i just wanted to say that in writing that i want to be "relevant" and missional to cultures around me, this does not give me the excuse to participate in sin and revel in the sinful, temporal delights of the world. in re-reading this, i realize that this is the way it may have come off. to sum up what i was saying in one sentence, i'll borrow something from mark driscoll. i want to be culturally liberal but theologically conservative.

mercredi, septembre 13, 2006

can i just say that sometimes when its rainy out, all that's needed to make things a bit better is to bake cookies (organic whole wheat flax cinnamon nutmeg sour cream chocolate chip cookies) , listen to good cacophony (derek webb is what Christian music has been waiting for), read a very good Book and perhaps watch an episode from season 1 of Veronica Mars (the other seasons have apparently gone sketch).

it doesn't answer all the problems in life. but sitting and eating low fat cookies while drinking a solid glass of vanilla rice milk and smelling the scent of rain does make things a bit better.

mardi, septembre 12, 2006

apathy and missing home.

it is the beginning of the year. everyone is excited. new beginnings.
but she finds herself rather apathetic.
she should be excited. zero in september 2003 to what will probably break the twenty mark in september 2006 is pretty amazing.
but she finds herself not caring.
praises get stuck in her throat.
she knows these are great things that God is doing.
but her apathy is overwhelming.

somehow down the line, there is a disconnect. she wants to find it. she wants to see His grace with new eyes and she wants her heart to be engaged for His glorious cause. she can't figure it out. why, after three years of caring so much, does she find it difficult to care at all? this disconnect leaves a blurry haze of disappointment.

oh LORD, my own heart is calloused towards my sin and thus too hardened and blinded to see your grace. Would you search me and know my heart? Would you try me and know my thoughts? Point out the grievous way in me that i may turn from evil and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.


i've never really missed home. wow, that remark makes me sound like a pretty calloused individual. but apart from perhaps my first week here in Toronto in first year, i don't think i've missed home all that much. i consider this an ability granted to me, so that should i ever go into overseas missions, a couple of years without furlough wouldn't kill me.

but today as i was eating lunch (sauteed onions, tomatoes, red peppers, cukes and tofu with a barbeque lemon pepper sauce, tucked inside an organic whole wheat pita),i missed home.

in living apart from family and having to cook for myself, i often eat things in rotation. things you can cook in one meal for a family last three or four meals if you're on your own. this is the reason why i ate the recipe above for the third time in 2 days today. i mean, perishables are true to their name, and only last so long. Thus, if you want to eat healthy and eat veggies and other great things while concurrently living alone and cooking for yourself, you end up eating the same veggies multiple days in a row.

i guess i'm missing family right now. there's something sweet and lovely about coming home after a long day to the aroma of food. there's something great about the community that exists in a home and there's DEFINITELY something great about having different food each day and not having the pressure to eat everything you make for fear of mould.

anyways the sky is rather "bleh" today and i suppose this blog is a reflection of that.

Shelter ~ S. McCracken
In the arms of a good Father
You can go in the deep water
Where the questions, we have left unspoken
Come out in the open
We will find shelter here

So I lay down, what I cannot hold in my hands
Every sorrow and hope spinning out of control
And here I find sweet resolution comes in letting go
And we will find shelter here

When I look back I can see,
And when I am old I’ll remember these things
Like a mountain of stoneAnd the longing that makes me believe…

There is a tree by the blue river
Where the shade stretches wide over
In this breaking we are hand and glove
Come with me my love
We will find shelter here
We will find shelter here…

her new album is out today. lovely.

dimanche, septembre 10, 2006

the update a long time in coming
warning: its a long one...

first off, i have to thank friends for an AMAZING birthday. the day was filled with french food at a snobby restaurant, chilling on my rooftop and a 'ouache' lychee martini at night. thanks to everyone who came out (ethan, stephanie, janette, andrew, warren, priyanka, travis, jenna, joshua) .
special props to sara whitfield, jess farq, shelly, beth fisher, suz lumsden, and joel sherman for driving in from out of town (windsor, guelph x4, ottawa) to come.
thanks to everyone else who couldn't make it but sent birthday wishes...i haven't gotten back to all of y'all, but i appreciate your kind words muchly.
in other news, this week, i discovered that 80 hours straight of human contact is my limit. by the 80th hour, i was SO tired i couldn't even talk. i had a GREAT birthday and a super couple of days spent with jesskah farquharson, sara whitfield (and others sporadically), and C4C people, but by the time i took sara to the greyhound station Friday afternoon, i could hardly muster the energy to say goodbye. So yes, 80 hours and 4 days without QTs is definitely the limit. anything past that, and i become a super carnal, mean short chinese gal without a filter. the reminder that Christ is my only source of true sustenance was a good one.
ryan lawrence's birthday
happy belated birthday ryan lawrence. your friendship as my older brother is muchly appreciated. thank you for the vespa. it is the coolest thing on my shelf (next to my Bibles). your party was fun; sorry i was so tired and had to leave your party early, dragging two people with me. lets go for coffee sometime soon.
praise team
so frank and i got ourselves into a bind this weekend, without a praise team scheduled. i realized this on friday afternoon and was super stressed out. all i wanted to do on friday was SLEEP (80 hours of people with no alone time does that to ya), but instead i had to figure out praise team stuff. after talking to my co-leader all i wanted to do was sleep and cry. thankfully i have amazing friends like Louis and Joshua Robinson who have such great hearts of servanthood.

the meat of the blog
after service today, joshua robinson (who was gracious and helped me lead worship today at my church) invited me to his house for lunch. of course, it would have been donculous to say no and not meet any of the people he always speaks so lovingly about, so i accepted. i gleaned a couple of things from this experience. i'll write about one of these gleanings for now...

Growing up and attending a chinese church, i only ever had christian friends who were chinese. In chinese culture, 'good children' are children who sit quietly during meals and don't cause 'trouble'. Of course, the perfectionist that i was, i was always the good child. my parents would eat dinner and chatter away with their friends, and i would eat my dinner quietly and then slip into the covers of a book and read. As i grew up, i would periodically be invited to a friend's house for lunch after church. Those times, however, were the most awkward times i've ever experienced. No longer was i the "good girl"; i was the "bad influence" because i didn't speak chinese. i was the child who had "sold herself to 'white' culture and abandoned her own culture." Inviting me to lunch was a nicety--something parents had to do because they were "friends" with my parents and because i was "friends" with their child.

i don't remember ever having one spiritual conversation at a dinner table except in my own home, let alone talk of theology. spirituality and 'feelings' are just not discussed between generations at a dinner table in traditional chinese culture. usually, as a younger person, eating meant silence.

in moving to Toronto, i've been so blessed to become friends with some wonderful and amazing people my age. at the dinner table there will be banter about all sorts of things, but the most lovely and edifying conversations are those where the glory of Christ is discussed. However, apart from C4C friends and some church friends, i don't know very many older adults and families. dinner with a Christian family rarely happens here in Toronto, and when it does, it's most often with a chinese family from my church. chinese families don't really discuss theology or "feelings" all that much. banter doesn't exist all that much and utmost respect for elders (which, in chinese culture, is often synonymous with silence while they speak amongst themselves) is of great importance.

So, today was a great treat for me. i'm sure i must have been a bit awkward, since lunch at the Robinson house was an experience SO completely different from that which i'm used to. firstly, just eating with a caucasian family is vastly different! passing food around the table and holding bowls for each other just doesn't happen in chinese culture! its usually the turning of a lazy susan and chopsticks flying everywhere. the conversation was ALSO very different. i definitely felt very shy, but i was immensely grateful for the opportunity to eat and witness banter that i don't usually get to hear apart from my experiences with other university students. for the first time in a long time (aside from dinner at J's parents' place) i had the opportunity to witness a family where 3 generations (four if you include little Clara) who love the LORD came together on a Sunday afternoon. i was tremendously awed by the ease at which they spoke of spiritual things with each other and how it flowed into different conversations.
i know i'm not doing this lunch experience justice. i suppose all i wanted to say was that today i caught a glimpse of what i would like my family to be like when i grow up and get married (Lord willing). i want to be a hospitable and warm woman like mrs. robinson and i want to grow old and STILL rejoice in the LORD like the older mrs. robinson.

i don't want to be like the Martha who was so caught up in the niceties, preparations, works and being the "good" hostess that she couldn't sit at His feet and enjoy the company. i want to sit at His feet and enjoy His provision of friendship and so much more, while also inviting others to join in the banter.

(as an addendum, i wanted to say that there are also many great things about eating dinners with chinese families. i realize, in re-reading this post that i may have made chinese dinners sound boring and very rigid...but they aren't. i am grateful that as a canadian-born chinese, i am part of two great cultures.)

jeudi, septembre 07, 2006

quick update.

sorry ya'll. been too busy chilling with the coolest people in the world to update.

quote of the week (sara and lydia know we're misquoting. jesskah can you correct us?)

"smashing pumpkins are so old school."
"yeah, i listened to them when i was at my old school."

pictures from my birthday, chilling with j farq and sara whitfield, U of T leader's planning day (including the swing thingy, putt putt and lunch), york weekly meeting


lots of thoughts have been circulating round the old noggin' of mine...and will soon be written down....

after the chinese lantern festival and Ryan Lawrence's b-day partay!

mardi, septembre 05, 2006

Edmonton Picture Update
fun times in the city of champions (and cowtown).

Calgary: Chris and i

Calgary: Wendy took me out for Pho, since i still wasn't able to open my mouth very wide after getting my wisdom teeth out.

Banff: Wendy took me hiking. We hiked up Sulphur Mountain. oy. i was outta shape!! i blame it on the teeth. hehe.

This is the view from the summit of Sulphur mountain. and people say there's nothing in alberta. pfft.

Calgary: some dude that went to Japan brought Chris this t-shirt back. i don't think he'll like that i put the picture up so that the whole world can see it...but..meh!

Tara and i (and apparently a naked Drew Barrymore) at Kelsey's

Kira and I at the High Level Diner

Kailey and i at Marble Slab. AMAZZZZING ice cream.

Ashley and I at Lazia's. This month marks 15 years of knowing each other. We met in Kindergarten. We used to be best friends. Even now, we're still super good friends.

Mum, Dad, Pooch, Button. Walking the dogs. That night we also hopped in the car and went in search of the moon. Alas, it had disappeared before we found it.

Auntie Connie (not my real aunt..but a cool woman nonetheless), Mum and i

Auntie Connie, Uncle Eugene, me, Dad, Mum

Teresa and i at Olive Garden. yumm...soup. yumm..salad. yumm..breadsticks. yumm..pasta!

My cute and fat dog that snorts, button!

hair straightener available

heyo, i have an extra hair straightener that i am not in need of. its not great, but it works. if anyone would like it, let me know. its yours.

lundi, septembre 04, 2006

back in toronto
i think the appropriate word is..


i was so excited to come back... but i had a couple of realizations...and i guess i'm not as stoked to be back as i thought i was. the only redeeming things about being back are that the Valley of Vision CD by the Sovereign Grace Music Ministry was sitting on my bed upon arrival...and the fact that Sara Whitfield coming to Toronto tomorrow.

lately i've been learning that if we rely solely on human relationships to fill the void we feel in our chests, we will only end up disappointed once more.

when i was in grade 8, i had a little party at home to celebrate my 12th birthday. i was SO excited because i had plucked up my courage and invited a girl from the 10th grade math class i was in to come. This girl was one of the people who was actually friendly to me, the small fry. when she said she would come, i became super excited! imagine, a high schooler coming to my party!
but when the high of the night was over, i still felt empty. i still wished i was a popular girl in class, not the math genius. i longed to know that people loved me and cared for me. amanda coming to my party didn't change things. overnight, she and i didn't become best buddies, and i didn't vault up in popularity.

i think that was the year i stopped throwing myself birthday parties.

sure, friends and i would go out every september 5th...but it was nothing big. it was easier to not expect anything. AND, with the popularity contests that birthdays really are, it was easier to not do anything special so that when few people came i would always be able to tell myself it was because we hadn't planned to do anything in the first place.

i think last year was the best birthday i'd had in awhile. one of my best friends, Shelly, threw me a surprise party. and it really touched my heart--not so much because there were people who actually came...but rather, that i had a friend like Shelly who would plan such a thing for me.

this year, going home to edmonton, i think i realized that the loneliness that has followed me around all my life still exists. i also realized that while i have many acquaintances and many friends, friends who truly care are a treat. i am so grateful for friends who called, who sent me mail and who e-mailed to see how i was doing. i'm grateful that they knew that going home would be a place of loneliness, heartache and trial. and i'm grateful that they would love me enough to spread a bit of their cheer. i'm grateful that they were willing to take a bit of time out of their day to spend with me--though i was far away.

its sometimes easier to dwell on things that disappoint; its easier to dwell on friendships that disappoint. tomorrow will be a day when it will be easy to feel let down. a lot of people have gotten in touch with me today to tell me that they can't make it to celebrate with me (long story per usual, i wasn't going to celebrate..but my friend Sara Whitfield convinced me that i should...even if it was just a little shindig). at first, as more friends started telling me today that they couldn't make it, i was upset. upset at myself...thinking i had let my guard down: "see lydia, this is why you don't like celebrating your birthday. because people never end up coming, and you end up feeling disappointed." upset at my friends. upset that its frosh week and people have better and more valid things to do than party.

but now that my emotions have settled a bit, i understand that this is an important week--ministry and school wise. i recognize that friends of mine have things to do and that the number one thing on everyone's plate this September 5th shouldn't be to celebrate me, but rather, to exalt the LORD and serve our Master first and foremost.

so, while it stings that i won't be celebrating with very many people, i don't want to dwell on being disappointed. instead i'm going to rejoice that the LORD has allowed me another year to spend with Him. i'm going to rejoice that there ARE friends who have shifted schedules and travelled far to come visit me and that there are truly lovely friends (though they may be few) who i know will stick with me when times are hard. i'm going to rejoice that there are people who are serving their Master on my birthday and who are slaving away while i eat a tofu sandwich and celebrate.
here's to another year spent in a beautiful relationship with my Saviour.

samedi, septembre 02, 2006

this is my 800th post.

800. over 3 years of blogging. DONC!

anyways....coming back MONDAY.


school starts in 9 days.

in the meantime....

sara whitfield + birthday + chinese lantern festival + ryan lawrence's b-day + ministry planning + seeing old friends (i.e. camille, valera, kim, johnny etc) + adventures

= FUN!